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Intellectual property specialist secures £40,000

Intellectual property solicitor practice, Virtuoso Legal, has secured a £40,000 CBILS-backed loan to invest through COVID.

The Leeds-based intellectual property solicitor practise was founded by Liz Ward, a highly experienced intellectual property, solicitor in 2007. At the time, it was one of the first dedicated intellectual property specialist firms in the UK. Today it employs 11 staff, has turnover of £1.3m and delivers commercial intellectual property advice to clients across the UK.

Liz approached Business Enterprise Fund (BEF) via independent commercial finance brokers Redsky, after Virtuoso Legal encountered sales challenges due to the current COVID-19 pandemic.

The £40,000 loan from NPIF – BEF & FFE Microfinance, managed by BEF & FFE and part of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund (NPIF) – will be used to improve online visibility and create new content and ideas for marketing as well as on SEO for the website and improving leads via Click Funnels marketing.

Elizabeth Ward, founder and principal of Virtuoso Legal, said: “The support from BEF has enabled us to respond positively to the challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic. We have seen an upturn in sales due to a surge in innovation that businesses are keen to protect.”

Mark Iley, investment manager at BEF, said: “Virtuoso is a strong and dynamic business led by a knowledgeable and experienced principal. It was a pleasure to provide a loan facility that will enable Liz and the Virtuoso team to successfully navigate their way through the current COVID-19 pandemic.”

Sean Hutchinson, senior investment manager at British Business Bank, said: “Providing ambitious Northern businesses with vital investment throughout this pandemic is important not only to the North, but to the whole of the UK. As we’ve already seen, the North is set to play a key role in the UK’s economic recovery and it’s hugely encouraging to see NPIF-backed businesses such as Virtuoso Legal coming back strongly.

“We will continue to provide tailored means of support and are proud to work in partnership with BEF and our other fund managers to make a real impact.”

The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund project is supported financially by the European Union using funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020 and the European Investment Bank.

The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) provides facilities of up to £5m for smaller businesses who are experiencing lost or deferred revenues, leading to disruptions to their cashflow. Delivered by the British Business Bank, through accredited lenders and partners, CBILS will support the continued provision of finance to UK smaller businesses during the COVID-19 outbreak

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