Cheap loans for South Waikato businesses aim to ‘encourage growth’

A SWIFT loan has helped Putāruru-based structural steel company Green Frame obtain three new machines worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.  Pictured is director Sam Wulff.

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A SWIFT loan has helped Putāruru-based structural steel company Green Frame obtain three new machines worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. Pictured is director Sam Wulff.

Loans at below market interest rates are used to support business growth and investment in South Waikato.

They are offered by the South Waikato Investment Fund Trust (SWIFT) and chief executive Amanda Hema said “five-year discounted loans can be transformational”.

“Our interest rates are generally below market rates and we are very community oriented.

“Businesses must be located, or in the process of relocating or expanding to South Waikato, to receive a loan,” she said.

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Sam Wulff, director of Green Frame, a metal framing company based in Putāruru, and Stephen Mulholland, owner of Van Dam Plumbing 2020, are two examples of what a SWIFT loan can do for a business.

Wulff said SWIFT financed and supported three steel profiling machines worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, allowing company owners to use their money for installation and maintenance costs. product development.

“A big advantage in these times of construction product shortages is that steel can be rolled in a week,” he said.

“Green Frame also develops one, two and three bedroom modular homes that can be delivered on the back of a trailer and assembled on site.

“Thanks to the SWIFT loan, we have free capital to develop these new products.”

2020 Van Dam Plumbing owner Stephen Mulholland and his family with the new digger, a loan helped them get.

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2020 Van Dam Plumbing owner Stephen Mulholland and his family with the new digger, a loan helped them get.

Mulholland said a five-year SWIFT loan helped the company replace a 30-year-old excavator with a new, larger machine, a Toyota Hiace pickup truck, and hire five new employees.

“The SWIFT loan is great. My partner and I used our savings and bank loans to buy the business in 2020, but we needed additional funding for new equipment and staff to effectively meet customer needs.

“We got the SWIFT loan in 2021 and it’s locked in at below-market interest for five years.

“One of the conditions of the loan was that we had to hire three new employees by 2026. We achieved that in the first few months and have just hired two more,” Mulholland said.

SWIFT recently reset its minimum commercial loans to $50,000 and also updated its grant funding model.

Minimum grants are now set at $25,000 and are available to nonprofit organizations that provide education and training opportunities, or community infrastructure that encourages business investment to improve the quality of life in the district.

Applications for community grants opened August 1 and closes September 15.

“Large-scale impact is the goal,” Hema said.

“It’s about encouraging growth.”

She said that over the next three years, SWIFT would focus on managing its investment portfolio to deliver the best results for South Waikato, helping existing businesses succeed and grow, and working with industries key to ensuring they can access the labor and skills they need. to succeed.

“With all new loans, our Community Liaison Coordinator will introduce the business to our training and employment partners and perform regular checks.

“When the loan ends, we don’t step out of the picture, we can scaffold them into another loan agreement to support further growth plans,” Hema said.

SWIFT has published its new grant and loan criteria on its website, visit www.swift.org.nz for details.

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