Belfast Telegraph

Friday 26 December 2014

Due diligence needed if gamble is to succeed

While the latest ramp up in prices might be an unwanted burden for small and medium sized businesses, news that Invest NI is to turn banker will offer a glimmer of hope for some.

Funding has been one of the biggest issues impacting companies large and small over the last few years but the latter have suffered from the wrath of cautious lenders more than most.

A £50m pool of money to help growth projects sounds like just the ticket for those who have failed to entice other lenders to part with their cash and would complement the work Invest NI do at present.

It's a brave move by the organisation as there's a case to be made that banks are now exercising an appropriate level of judgment in their lending decisions, rather than the much looser set of criteria which led to the credit crunch. But banks turn down potential custom for a reason and Invest NI will need to make sure it has meticulous due diligence if the project is to succeed.

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