A former haulier-turned-shopkeeper has stepped into the driving seat of the long-established Stallingborough Farm Shop after receiving the green light from Finance For Enterprise to secure the vital funds needed to fuel his entrepreneurial aspirations.
Michael Fisher hit the brakes on his career as a long-distance driver when his father-in-law John Money decided to hang his apron at the popular Stallingborough Farm Shop. Feeling he’d seen more than his fair share of traffic jams and contraflow systems, Michael decided to step into the hot seat of the popular shop which has served the residents of North East Lincolnshire for more than 30 years.
With plans to put his own mark on the business, only one thing stood in his way: raising the capital needed to acquire the business and to put his own plans to make his mark on the business into practice.
After exploring different ways of raising money needed, Michael contacted Finance For Enterprise for help. He discussed his future plans for business with Grimsby-based Investment Manager Jane Cusse who helped him to secure the vital funds needed to acquire and grow the business further.
Jane helped Michael and his wife Maria to secure £40,000 which was raised by two Start-up Loans and topped up by funds provided directly by Finance For Enterprise. The funds enabled the husband and wife team to purchase the business and its stock. As the business adapted to the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic the funding enabled them to acquire three vans in order to expand the company’s home delivery service.
Since expanding its delivery service, the Stallingborough Farm Shop has enjoyed rapid growth. Michael and Maria have hired nine new members of staff to meet increased demand for fresh fruit, veg, fresh meats, flowers etc. Determined to go ‘above and beyond’ the call of duty, a move which has seen the company receive rave reviews from its growing numbers of customers, Michael is now planning to continue expanding his delivery fleet and is setting his sights on growing the business further.
Michael Fisher, Owner of Stallingborough Farm Shop said:
“I always like the idea of running my own business and when the opportunity arose to secure the future of the business and give my father-in-law to enjoy a long and well-deserved retirement plan, it seemed like the perfect opportunity. Only one thing stood in my way, raising the funds needed purchase the business and its stock.
“When I told a friend about my plans, he suggested that I should contact Finance For Enterprise. They listened to me and helped me to secure the funds, I needed to complete the purchase of the business, but also to invest in the future of the company. Our Investment Manager Jane was amazing, she took the stress and worry away and kept us regularly updated through the application process.
“I knew from the outset that running my own business would be a challenging and exciting journey, but when we signed on the dotted line last February, little did we appreciate just how much and how quickly the business would need to adapt as a result of Covid-19. The financial support we received from Finance For Enterprise helped us to manage our cashflow, particularly during our first few months of trading when we didn’t know how lockdown would affect the business.
“The Farm Shop had always offered a home delivery service, but the funds we were able to secure from Finance For Enterprise enabled us to continue trading by delivering the fresh produce to the doors of our customers and as a result, we’ve managed to grow the business and create new jobs, something I feel incredibly proud to have acheved.”
Jane Cusse, Investment Manager at Finance For Enterprise said:
“The retail sector has been particularly hard hit during the Covid pandemic, Michael and Maria spotted an opportunity to build and diversify their new business and they seized the opportunity. After spending time reviewing their business plans I put together a lending package which enabled them to not only acquire the existing company, but one which would help them to put their own mark on the business.
“Despite working in a challenging business climate, Michael and Maria’s hard work has really paid off and the amount of positive feedback they’ve received from their customers is a testament to their dedication and hard work. The Farm Shop is something of an institution in Grimsby and it’s great to see that its future is in safe hands.
“Accessing finance is one of the greatest challenges that many new business owners face, but the Start Up Loans scheme was specifically created to support new entrepreneurs. Michael & Maria presented a well thought out business plan, backed by forecasts based on the historical performance of the business and under their leadership the business has gone from strength-to-strength”
Finance For Enterprise Limited is a delivery partner of Start Up Loans UK, an initiative backed by the British Business Bank and designed to help new entrepreneurs secure lending. Since the Start Up Loans scheme was launched in 2012, the programme has helped more than 75,000 entrepreneurs to realise their business ambitions. In Yorkshire & The Humber, Start Up Loans UK has provided nearly £55 million to over 6,300 new businesses.
Finance For Enterprise provides a range of tailored loans, aimed at helping SMEs in Yorkshire & The Humber, the East Midlands and Lincolnshire. The company acts as a fund manager for the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund and Start Up Loans UK and provides business loans up to £250,000.