Bank of Frome – Discussing New Forms of Finance for Frome Enterprises
It is getting harder for small businesses to obtain finance, even to afford to pay for financial advice. The big banks are withdrawing from our town centre and, as was made clear in a talk at Edventure Frome this morning during the business breakfast (run jointly with Frome Chamber of Commerce), the risk assessment for loans from the big banks are getting tougher. As was explained to us by a manager working for one of the leading banks, the banks are primarily driven by their own profit margins.
Banks will withdraw from towns if their buildings are expensive to run, they see new financial institutions as threats and they do not really see themselves playing much of a role in local economic regeneration.
The discussion that followed surfaced lots of ideas as to how the Frome business community can ‘do it for themselves’. Can we establish a process for peer-to-peer lending? What about a Frome pound?
Can we establish a fund which larger business contribute to, whereby start-ups can apply for small grants? Can we establish a finance hub where people can go for advice? Can we work to set up a Post Office again in central Frome which could also double down as a finance hub? What can we learn from other places? Anyone watched the film ‘Bank of Dave’?
If any of this sounds of interest, Edventure Frome is hosting an evening meeting on Monday April 3rd , 6-7.30pm. If you would like to come please book a free ticket, limited spaces available.