Mercia Asset Management: Loan will help energy consultant meet increased demand

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A Hull firm which helps businesses reduce energy bills has secured a £150,000 loan from NPIF – Mercia Debt Finance, which is managed by Mercia and is part of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund (NPIF), for the help meet increased demand.

River Business Services (River) provides gas and electricity contracts and telecommunications services from a range of suppliers, and helps businesses compare rates to find the cheapest deal. It also carries out energy audits and offers expert advice on how to reduce energy consumption, as well as installing renewable energy such as solar panels.

The company was founded by brothers Ashley and Guy Hunter in 2017. The couple previously owned the Nexus Hull Telecoms business before exiting as part of a nationwide takeover of the company in 2016.

River, which currently employs ten people, serves businesses of all sizes, including chemicals giant Brenntag UK and RMC Digital Print in Hull. The funding will allow him to expand his team with the creation of six new jobs in the coming year.

Guy Hunter, co-founder of River Business Services, said: “Rising energy costs are not only painful for consumers, they are also having a major impact on businesses. With short-term government support now on the table for businesses, it is crucial to maximize the benefits and set rates for budget certainty.We help them get the best possible deal in a volatile market, as well as monitor their usage and find other ways to reduce carbon emissions and costs.

“This can include anything from switching to LED bulbs and installing solar panels to rearranging work schedules so they use energy at the cheapest times of the day. We’ve seen a strong increase in demand for our services in recent months and the funding will enable us to expand our team and welcome new clients.”

Rebecca Pickering from Mercia added: “Energy is at the top of the corporate agenda right now. Tackling rising energy bills will be key to the survival of many businesses, as consumers and shareholders call on companies to reduce their carbon footprint. River Business Services is helping businesses address these challenges and the funding will allow it to expand its support to many more businesses.”

Sean Hutchinson of the British Business Bank said: “NPIF’s impact on businesses has been far-reaching, financing the hiring of new employees, entering new markets and even acquiring new facilities. We are delighted that this loan will help River Business Services strengthen its team and help more customers reduce energy consumption and reduce carbon emissions.This investment demonstrates how funding can make a measurable difference to businesses in the Northern Powerhouse area.

Andy Jewitt of Specialist Finance Solutions provided fundraising advice to River Business Services.

The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund project is financially supported by the European Union through funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) under the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Program 2014-2020 and the European Bank of investment.

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