I am delighted to share our latest social impact report for the 2020 – 2021 financial year.
The past year has been one of the most challenging in recent history as our country grappled to contain Covid-19 and businesses were plunged into survival mode due to the chronic unpredictability of the pandemic and its unprecedented interruption to normal trading conditions.
I am incredibly proud that our commitment to supporting small businesses in their time of need shone through with a record year of lending. BCRS saw its lending increase by 47 per cent year-on-year to £13.3 million, which crucially supported the survival of 130 local businesses and protected a whopping 1,776 jobs.
And yet despite the challenges, by providing SMEs with the funding the need to survive or grow, BCRS also helped to create 294 jobs and generate an extra £71 million of value in the West Midlands economy. This means that for every £1 lent, we generated an additional £5.21 of additional value to the local economy.
The strength and resilience of our local SMEs this year has been truly incredible and has reinforced my long-held belief that they are a force for social good in our local communities and the backbone of our economy, which is why we believe that no viable business should go unsupported.
I hope you enjoy reading this report as much as I did.
Stephen Deakin, BCRS Chief Executive