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Essex courier company expands thanks to enterprise finance guarantee

An Essex based courier company is believed to be the first in the country to take advantage of the Government's new Enterprise Finance Guarantee to secure a £100,000 loan from Barclays Commercial Bank.

Abby Couriers signed the contract at a special ceremony at its head office in Basildon today with Basildon Member of Parliament Angela Smith, South Essex FSB (Federation of Small businesses) Chairman Brian Allen and Barclays Commercial Bank Relationship Director, Mark Wiseman present.

Managing Director at Abby Couriers, Mr Mark Giles, said: “Abby Couriers has been doing extremely well despite the current economic climate winning new contracts with some major companies who realise that out sourcing their delivery work is more cost effective for them than having their own fleet of vehicles.

“That expansion means we needed a boost to our income to recruit and train the additional staff and to invest in new vehicles as the set up costs of a new contract are high but revenue when the contract is underway soon helps recover the initial outlay.

“When we heard from Essex FSB about the Enterprise Finance Guarantee we approached our bank and with their help submitted an application for a £100,000 under that scheme in addition to a standard Business Loan for £37,000.

“The whole process took less than a week, including the approvals from the Government, and we now have the money we need to implement these new contracts to the high standards that are our hall mark in the courier industry.

“We believe we are the first courier company in the country to receive support from this scheme which is less than two weeks old and we are delighted to be able to move forward.”

Basildon Member of Parliament, Angela Smith, said: “The Government is committed to supporting successful small businesses as they work to cope with the global economic climate and I am delighted that a firm in Basildon is one of the first to benefit from the Enterprise Finance Guarantee scheme.

“I have visited Abby Couriers in the past and know the company is committed to sustained growth and expansion, creating jobs for local people and making a positive contribution to Basildon's economy.

“I am sure this money will be put to good use and look forward to seeing the benefits flow as Abby Couriers continues to thrive.”

Mark Wiseman, Barclays Commercial Bank Relationship Manager for North London said: “Barclays has been a key driver and supporter of the Enterprise Finance Guarantee, and we have played a key role in shaping it along with Government and other stakeholders.

“Since the EFG was announced on 14th January, Barclays has already processed and evaluated millions of pounds worth of applications, with many already approved.

“In the process, these loans are helping to provide the financial assistance for viable businesses to weather the downturn. We continue to ramp up the process and will support even greater numbers of businesses in weeks to come.

“The loan agreed with Abby Couriers, who have been a valued customer for over 20 years, is a good example of our support for our customer and the EFG initiative.”

Founded in 1994 Abby Couriers is a family run firm with a Head Office in Luckyn Lane, Basildon and offices at Welwyn Garden City.

With almost 200 staff the firm has more than 175 drivers on the road providing Same Day Delivery Services across the United Kingdom and Europe for key clients who include DHL, FEDEX and TNT.

Abby Couriers is a member of the National Courier Association, the Federation of Small Businesses and Essex Chambers of Commerce.

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