social impact report & annual statement

Small Business Loans North East England

Flexible finance for businesses in the North East of England

The North East has transformed into a centre of innovation and creativity. Where it once depended on industries such as coal mining and shipbuilding, now the regions like County Durham, Gateshead, Newcastle, North Tyneside, Northumberland, South Tyneside, and Sunderland have become dynamic areas for new ideas and business ventures.

From Berwick-on-Tweed to Morpeth, Blyth, and down through North and South Shields, Newcastle, Gateshead, to Sunderland, Durham, Hartlepool, and Middlesbrough, SMEs like yours are on a mission to expand and are actively seeking the necessary financial backing to realise their goals.

Like many businesses in the North East, you may struggle to secure the finance you require, which is largely due to the stringent lending criteria set by traditional lenders such as banks. However, our approach to providing business loans is different. We recognise the unique nature of your business and work to offer a personalise finance solution accordingly.

With us, you're not just talking to a computer. From the moment you reach out, you're in the experienced hands of an Investment Manager, who is ready to listen, understand, and help.

What business loans are available?

We provide flexible finance to support different business needs and stages:

  • Start Up Loans: If your business is still new and traded for less than 36 months, you can borrow up to £25,000 to help get things moving.
  • Small Business Loans: If you need more money, there’s an option to borrow between £25,000 and £250,000. This is for businesses that are a bit bigger and need more cash to grow.

So, no matter your sector, the size of your business or how long you’ve been trading, we have a loan that can be tailored to fit your needs.

How can I use a BEF business loan?

You can use our business loans to support a wide range of business activities:

  • Start-up costs: Got a new business idea? Use the loan for starting out costs like getting licenses, permits, and buying your initial gear.
  • Property stuff: Whether you’re buying a new place for your business, fixing up your current one, or giving it a makeover, there’s cash for that.
  • Inventory: Need stuff to sell or materials to make your products? The loan can help buy all that.
  • Working capital: This is for the everyday money needs like paying your team, covering bills, and other regular costs.
  • Equipment and technology: If you need new machines, tools, or the latest tech to help your business grow, you can use the loan for that.
  • Marketing and advertising: Get the word out about your business and attract more customers with some marketing and ads.
  • Scaling up: Ready to make your business bigger or go into new areas? There’s money to support that move.

Client testimonial

The Great North Eastern Brewing Company

Established in September 2015, The Great North Eastern Brewing Company brews real ale which it sells by the cask or keg to pubs, clubs and hotels in the north east and beyond. BEF have supported the business with a Start Up Loan followed by a further investment of £100,000.

The investment provided working capital to expand sales to hospitality businesses based in Edinburgh, York, and the lake district, with the business recently being added to the suppliers list at a leading high street pub chain.

I have dealt with Doug Heseltine for 7 years now and would like to say that this business would not be at the stage it is without his help and the help of BEF hopefully the business will continue to grow so credit is due to you.”
- Paul Minnikin, director, The Great North Eastern Brewing.

Why choose BEF?

The BEF North East Team

We have built our loans to fit your business needs, and to tackle the unique problems you might face in the area. See how our different approach can your business take off:

  • Fair rates for the North East: Our interest rates are set to match what's going on in the North East, making it easier for businesses to grow without getting weighed down by costs.
  • Local help from local experts: We have people from the area who know all about the local business environment. They tailor our services to give you spot-on advice and solutions.
  • Fast loan approval: We get your loan sorted quickly so you can jump on opportunities or sort out problems without delay.
  • We get the North East: Our loans are built to tackle the challenges businesses face right here, offering real help that makes a difference to local businesses and communities.

How do I get started?

To apply for a Business loan, simply complete our online enquiry form.

After you've finished, a member of our investment team will get back to you within two working days. They'll guide you on what to do next, including how to fill out a full application.


Of course, you might have some questions. Here are some of the most common ones we get about our loans for the North East. If you have more questions, feel free to get in touch with us.

Who are BEF's Investment Managers for the North East?

Connect with an Investment Manager:

Is my business eligible for a loan?

To be eligible for a loan from us, you must:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Want to borrow at least £500
  • Need the money for business, not personal reasons
  • Be a sole trader, partner or director and authorised to borrow on behalf of your business.
What financial support is available for start-ups in the North East?

We provide Start Up Loans for businesses located in the North East. These loans, supported by the government, offer the chance to borrow up to £25,000 at a reduced interest rate. Additionally, they include several other advantages designed specifically for your needs. Find out more >

How long does it take for a loan to be delivered?

Usually, our team of Investment Managers will help you finish everything up within three weeks after you apply.

Do you use Open Banking?

We use Open Banking to help us make a decision to lend. To fast track a decision, you must grant access to your financial data using our Open Banking portal: