Builders, electricians, plumbers, other trade professionals and small construction firms are set to benefit, as Grafton Merchanting GB becomes the first national builders’ merchant to give tradesmen direct access to the government’s Trade Credit Enterprise Finance Guarantee (TCEFG) scheme.
The initiative extends Grafton’s current Trade Credit Account terms as part of the government-backed pilot scheme – which is available until 31 March 2014 – across all its businesses, including Buildbase, Civils and Lintels, Hirebase, Plumbase, Electricbase and Jackson.
Doors will be opened through Grafton’s 400-strong national branch network to a wider group of construction trade professionals, who would ordinarily have struggled to secure credit under the company’s existing credit policy through lack of proven track record or insufficient credit rating.
The scheme also provides an opportunity for more established businesses to apply for increased credit limits to support their businesses with additional sums of between £1,000 and £100,000 of credit available to successful applicants (any increased credit facility granted will be available for a period of 12 months).
TCEFG is open to viable UK businesses that have a turnover of less than £41m.
Mark Kelly, chief executive officer at Grafton Merchanting GB, said: “Growth in construction has to start somewhere and there’s no better place than to start at grassroots level with plenty of support for builders, electricians, plumbers, heating engineers and all of the people who help make the building industry prosper. By introducing this scheme, we’ll be making it easier for them to secure the credit they are in dire need of.
“Those taking part and approved will have greater access to credit, enabling them to finance business growth. We hope that by stimulating spending among the construction trades we will revive the sector, helping to drive the economy forward.
“There has been some confusion among businesses about the TCEFG offering; what is available to them and how they can get involved. We hope to engage the trade professional by making the scheme easier to access in an environment that they are familiar with and have trust in.”
Business Minister Michael Fallon said: "No-one knows better than Grafton the acute difficulties faced by builders and other tradesmen in securing credit. The government is taking a number of measures to help small businesses with access to finance issues, including setting up the business bank. The flexibility of the Enterprise Finance Guarantee scheme allows us to support increased trade credit lending and I am very pleased customers of Grafton's will be benefiting."
Grafton will be launching a campaign to help raise awareness and educate tradesmen about the scheme with promotions at local branches and supporting marketing collateral, including a handy free guide to TCEFG.