East Lothian Council

East Lothian Investments Ltd award 300th interest free loan

Published Thursday 29th June 17

Business

The Chocolate Tree, Haddington secures interest free loan for expansion

East Lothian Investments Ltd (ELI), a company formed by East Lothian Council in 2001, which offers interest free loans to businesses for the benefit of the county’s economy awarded its 300th loan at its June Board Meeting.

Chocolate Tree Limited is the recipient of a £25,000 loan which will assist the company with its growth and relocation to new premises. This is the second loan the company has received since its start in 2005 and they currently employ 8 full time and 10 part time staff. The relocation will result in a further 2 additional full time and 4 part time staff being recruited.

Since ELI’s inception it has received 496 loan applications and awarded loans to a value of £2,518,604. The loans awarded have levered in private sector investment in excess of £13 million and has protected 1,395 jobs and created 661 new posts.

Loans have been awarded to a varied range of businesses from hospitality, retail, food and drink, engineering, and business services and are open to start ups and existing businesses and can be used for any purpose apart from paying off existing debt. Loans up to £25,000 are available repayable over 60 months.

Cllr John McMillan, Cabinet Member for Economic Development and Tourism, said:

"East Lothian Investments provide invaluable financial support to local businesses seeking to expand their company. This latest award secures employment opportunities within the county and will enable the Chocolate Tree to further develop its award winning products."

Ali Gower of the Chocolate Tree added:

"Running and growing a small business is no easy feat, we are eternally grateful for the financial support East Lothian Investments and East Lothian Council have given us to realise our latest project. We love East Lothian and feel very privileged to be able to run our business here."

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East Lothian Council, John Muir House Brewery Park Haddington East Lothian EH41 3HA.