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Preston Paper Products Manufacturer Expands With Bank Support

Updated: Nov 9, 2023

Preston Paper Products team

Paper Innovation, a Preston-based manufacturer of paper products, is set to expand into new markets and launch its first online store after increasing its turnover by 15 per cent over the past three years.

Founded by husband and wife team Steve and Wendy Johnston in 1994, the company creates

bespoke and personalised paper products for companies across the UK.

The company will be launching an online platform to expand its customer base both at home and

overseas, with support from Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking which has supplied a £710,000 funding package.

The move will create four new jobs, and is expected to boost the company’s turnover by a further 25 per cent over the next two years.

Steve Johnston, director of Paper Innovation, said: “To stay competitive within our sector it is vital that we remain innovative, and we are constantly looking for new ways to expand our customer base and improve the services on offer to clients.

“The new online site will enable us to increase our presence in new markets, and we will be looking to expand our customer base across the corporate and hospitality sector over the next 12 months” Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking provided the funding package after the business was introduced to the team by Johnny Abraham at J9 Advisory, Paper Innovation’s business finance advisor.

Steve added: “We switched our day-to-day banking relationship late last year, after looking for a

banking partner which shared our enthusiasm for growth.

“Our relationship team and J9 Advisory has worked very closely with us to understand our business and objectives, and were able to provide the tailored suite of products that was required to achieve our expansion plans.”

Charlotte Jackson, regional manager for Lloyds Bank Commercial Finance, said: “It is vital that firms explore different ways which they can expand their customer base, so when Steve and Wendy approached us for funding we recognised how launching an online store would benefit the business. “We provided a bespoke funding package that gave them the flexibility to invest quickly in the firm, allowing them to capitalise on businesses increased appetite to purchase products and place orders online.

“According to our latest Business in Britain research, businesses in the North West are expecting their business activity levels to increase over the next 12 months. To help small businesses, like Paper Innovation, capitalise on these expansion opportunities, we have pledged to grow our net lending to them by £1 billion each year until 2017.”

Johnny Abraham, managing director at J9 Advisory, said: “Paper Innovation is an excellent example of a company that is constantly looking at innovative new products together with ways to improve the service it offers to its clients.

“It was clear from the first meeting that Steve and Wendy had formed a great relationship with the team at Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, and by delivering a significant increase in working capital, together with a reduction in monthly commitments, the company is now well positioned to achieve its growth plans.”

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