A Cornwall based finance company is helping its customers expand with the aid of asset finance at a time when many lending institutions are holding back.
Sterling Capital says that a downturn in the economy may represent a perfect opportunity for local companies to grow their businesses as the supply of labour may become easier, and investment in the most up to date technology will help to keep them ahead.
Director of Sterling Capital Alan Tutte said: “Controlled and proper expansion can be a way through a difficult period. You have got to be better than your competitors to survive and if you try to stand still you will end up going backwards. Investment is a way forward to further improve efficiencies and gain ground over your competitors.”
Sterling Capital was set up by Alan Tutte back in 1997. Four years ago he moved to Cornwall to lead the team at a new Cornwall office alongside former corporate banker and fellow Director Steve Hunt.
July saw the company complete more transactions than in any previous month – a statistic that’s a far cry from the picture of doom and gloom so prevalent in many sectors of the economy at the moment.
Steve Hunt said: “There is no doubt that the credit crunch means there is a lot more caution in the financial world but the fact is that the money is there to borrow and we here at Sterling Capital have just as much appetite for lending as we ever did.”
“We deal with funders who have not been exposed to the sub-prime market in the USA and that means that their balance sheets have not been affected by the credit crunch. As a result we have ready access to funds to help local companies expand their businesses. We are also principal lenders providing our own funds for investment into local businesses.”
Since its launch, Sterling Capital has become a name that’s synonymous with good professional service and rapid local decision making by local staff who understand the needs of the West Country economy.
Working across a broad spectrum of industries from catering and leisure to vehicles and plant machinery, Sterling Capital has the expertise needed to help local firms move forward.
Steve Hunt explained: “You will regularly find us financing espresso machines for catering establishments at £2,000 a time but we are equally at home putting together the funds for multi-million pound factory fit-outs. Our funding stream is steady and secure and we are keen to do business at a time when many of the high street banks are battening down the hatches.”
Among those to benefit from Sterling Capital’s assistance is Hydramaster, a company which produces commercial cleaning machines as well as providing laser and water-flow cutting services for local engineering companies. Established in 1995 the company’s been going through a period of expansion necessitating purchases of state of the art equipment.
Alan Tutte explained: “We have been working with Hydramaster and its customers for quite some time and when the company approached us with plans to purchase one of the most powerful water cutting machines on the market in order to expand its services we were delighted to be able to help.”
The machine in question is the only one of its kind in Europe. It cost more than £300,000 and has the capability to cut through steel up to half a metre thick. For Hydramaster its acquisition is a huge step forward enabling the company to take on new work as well as opening up new markets.
Managing Director of Hydramaster John Gotts said: “Dealing with Alan Tutte and the team at Sterling Capital was a pleasure. We needed to finance a part of the cost of the water-cutter and they made the whole process very simple and painless. They totally removed all the aggravation that is normally associated with obtaining finance and were extremely competitive on top of that.”
The team at Sterling Capital say they are now looking forward to a busy Autumn and are keen to hear from local businesses seeking to grow or refurbish over the winter months.
Said Alan Tutte: “The fact is that a lot of those involved in the catering industry in Devon and Cornwall have actually had quite a good season because the weather has not been quite so good as usual outside. As a result a lot of them are happy in the knowledge they have cash in their pockets and they are looking to update and expand. Our advice is to hang onto those bulk profits and lease instead – preservation of liquid assets is always important but especially so in a tougher trading climate.”