A Penrith-based manufacturer of traditional puddings is in the running for HSBC’s Business Growth Grant, a business award that will help propel its domestic growth. Country Puddings, is one of five finalists with the chance of winning one of two HSBC £50,000 growth grants.
Pitching to a panel of judges, Country Puddings will showcase what sets them apart from the competition, and how the grant will be used to expand through new domestic opportunities. Country Puddings, which started out in a farmhouse kitchen supplying the local farm shop will compete in the London final on 2nd March.
The HSBC Business Growth Grant aims to seek out and support UK businesses that have the potential to stimulate growth. In addition to the two £50,000 domestic Business Growth Grants, HSBC will award two £50,000 grants to companies using innovative ideas to grow overseas.
Country Puddings began eleven years ago when Lynne Mallinson began making a small range of traditional puddings in her farmhouse kitchen for the local farm shop. The company has steadily grown and now operates from a purpose built kitchen nearby, which has helped enable the business to expand their product range and increase their customer base.
Country puddings are one of the leading suppliers of traditional puddings to independent retailers throughout the country, and have begun exporting to Australia and Dubai.
Lynne Mallinson, founder and Managing Director of Country Puddings said: “I am extremely delighted to have made it to the final of the Business Growth Grant competition. To have the chance of winning £50,000 to help me elevate Country Puddings to the next level and beyond is a wonderful opportunity. We are achieving huge growth in this challenging economic climate and are at the beginning of a new phase of large growth which should more than double the size of the company.
“We want Country Puddings to be the leading supplier of traditional hand made puddings in the UK in the next ten years. When people think of puddings we want them to think of Country Puddings.”
Stephen Price, HSBC’s UK Head of Commercial and Business Banking, who leads the panel of judges, said: “Congratulations to Country Puddings on reaching the final. We’ve made it our challenge to seek out and support growing businesses, which will help stimulate economic growth in the UK. The HSBC Business Growth Grant competition has highlighted some fantastic businesses which demonstrate ambition and innovation. I wish them and the other finalists the best of luck on 2nd March.”
The two winners of HSBC’s £50,000 Business Growth Grant will be announced by the end of March.
SMEs make a substantial contribution to the total value of exports and HSBC is in a unique position to support UK businesses who are, or who are looking to, trade internationally. With international trade being key to future UK growth, HSBC is launching a new multi-billion fund specifically for SMEs that trade with other businesses across the globe. The ‘HSBC International SME Fund’ will provide at least £4billion of lending to SMEs with a turnover of up to £25million and will be available in the coming weeks.
In response to the needs of SMEs, HSBC has also added two innovative products to its funding portfolio. The International Business Overdraft, which offers a reduced interest rate for each overseas country a business is trading with, up to a maximum of 3% for the first 12 months.
The Employer Business Loan provides a reduction in interest rate of 1% for each new employee taken on, up to a maximum of 3%. Alternatively, businesses which employ someone in the following six months receive 10% of the interest paid as cash back, up to a maximum of 30%.
To reinforce the bank’s strategy to be the leading international trade and business bank, HSBC is also increasing the number of International Commercial Managers by at least 40%, and will look to approve at least 80% of applications for finance from SMEs. HSBC is making a clear commitment to UK business and the UK economy.