A growing Selkirk company is preparing to start manufacturing its own products to sell directly to the public.
Dash Components in Dunsdale Road are window blind experts and have been supplying components and fabrics to the trade for more than a decade.
However, thanks to £40,000 of funding, the firm has bought new machinery and has put a grant towards the cost of a retail outlet.
The family-run firm was able to secure a total of £36,000 of loans from the Scottish Borders Business Loan Fund and the South of Scotland Loan Scheme, and was also awarded a £4,000 grant from the council.
Director Chris Maher, wife Caroline and daughter Kayleigh will open Zest Blinds next month.
Mr Maher said: “The combination of loans and grant money has allowed us to evolve the business and will help us increase turnover to an estimated £1million – an increase of 30 per cent.
“Diversifying into manufacturing opens up new avenues for us, not only making specialist blinds for the trade, but blinds for the public, who will be able to buy directly from us.”
He added: “Over the past three years, our Business Gateway adviser has not only listened and understood what we wanted to achieve, she has given us the confidence to actually meet our goals; and we’ve reaped the benefits of her expertise, trying new things that we initially thought too time-consuming or difficult.”
Sandra Campbell from Business Gateway Scottish Borders said: “By working closely with us, and giving careful consideration to strategic options, Chris and his team have managed to secure a raft of local funding that has allowed them to expand quickly and in turn offer both the trade and public a unique opportunity to benefit from their knowledge.”
She added that it was important for firms to access as much expert advice as possible to help achieve their goals.