In the current economic climate, small businesses are often struggling to acquire growth capital from banks which can be used to fund expansion drives. However, this has not proved to be a problem for The Handmade Burger Company, which has secured £400,000 from Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking to expand the brand throughout the UK.
The restaurant chain, which currently has 20 outlets, will use the money to further plans for two new openings in Southampton and Glasgow later this year. It will also examine the possibility of opening a Nottingham restaurant and a third Birmingham restaurant in 2015.
Relationship director at Lloyds Bank’s Commercial Banking division, Phil Davies, believes the bank’s investment will allow the relatively new business to grow further and greatly improve its reach.
He says; “We’re passionate about supporting British businesses, and The Handmade Burger Company is a great example of successful enterprise which we are proud to support.
“This is an investment which reinforces our commitment to enabling businesses to expand and we look forward to seeing the company’s ambitious growth plans come to fruition in the months ahead.”
The Handmade Burger Company is owned by the hugely successful Jewellery quarter based firm, The Sargeant Partnership, which has spent the past few years investing heavily into nationwide expansion.
Founded in 2006, the brand’s first restaurant is located in Birmingham’s Brindleyplace and has proven immensely popular with consumers seeking fresh fast food as a healthier alternative to McDonalds or Burger King.
The Sargeant Partnership estimates that around 30 new jobs will be created at each of the new outlets, with chefs and waiting staff in particularly high demand.
Owner Chris Sargeant says; “We have enjoyed rapid growth since opening our very first restaurant in 2006, and through this investment we look forward to taking our brand into a variety of new locations in the UK.
“With our roots in Birmingham, we are excited to be opening our third city outlet next year in Grand Central as part of the redevelopment of New Street Station, which promises to become an important location among our nationwide chain.
“Throughout our expansion, we have stayed true to our original fresh food philosophy, and I am proud to say that our food is, and always will remain, fresh, honest and handmade.”
Small businesses are the bedrock of economic growth in the UK and, even during the recession, were often the major force fighting against rising high street vacancy levels. With this large investment, Lloyds Banking Group has demonstrated its belief in the strength of SMEs and will, hopefully, encourage other high street lenders to emulate their support for home grown British businesses.
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