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  • Costas Tyres

    “Both Andy at MSIF and Colin Hickey at Invest Sefton who helped us put our business plan together have been fantastic to work with. Their support will help us reach our target of doubling our staff and turnover within the next couple of years.”

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A Bootle-based tyre specialist has received investment from Merseyside Special Investment Fund (MSIF) which will help the business double in size in the next two years.

Costas Tyres, on Atlantic Road, was set up in October 2013 by husband and wife team Mark and Stephanie Pittaras and Mark’s brother Michael.

The company imports new and used tyres from Europe – mostly Germany, Switzerland and Holland – which are resold wholesale to customers including garages, tyre fitting stations and used car dealerships across the UK and Ireland.

MSIF provided funding through the Regional Growth Fund (RGF) which has been used to invest in new stock to keep up with growing demand from customers.

Costas Tyres currently employs 10 staff (2 of which have been created directly from MSIF investment) and last year’s turnover reached £400k.

Mark Pittaras said: “I have worked in the tyre trade for 25 years and so I used my contacts and industry knowledge to set up Costas Tyres 18 months ago.

“Since then the business has gone from strength-to-strength and we needed to invest significantly for working capital to take advantage of our growing reputation, which has resulted in lots of new opportunities for us.

“We also recently set up an online store on ebay with our brother in law Darran Wylie, which has performed very well. ebay were so impressed by the shop and sales figures that they invited us to be part of their International Growth Scheme which has enabled us to begin exporting.

“In addition, we have opened a fitting bay on Aintree Road in Bootle which offers new and used tyre fitting and other associated auto services such as wheel alignment, brakes, exhausts and more directly to the public and to local businesses who have fleet vehicles and settle cars.

“Both Andy at MSIF and Colin Hickey at Invest Sefton who helped us put our business plan together have been fantastic to work with. Their support will help us reach our target of doubling our staff and turnover within the next couple of years.”

MSIF investment manager Andy Jones said: “The team at Costas Tyres are extremely hard working and have built up a fantastic business which has huge growth potential. We are really pleased to be supporting the business.”

Colin Hickey Business Support Specialist of Invest Sefton said: “I recognised the frustrations Stephanie and Mark were experiencing trying to raise funding as unfortunately it is difficult for businesses to raise finance from traditional sources within their first 12 months of trading. However I knew that MSIF can look outside the box and I was pleased to be able to support them through the MSIF application process. I was delighted when their loan was agreed.’’

This Regional Growth Fund programme is provided through the Community Development Finance Association. It provides loans to small, micro and social enterprises across England through the community finance sector. £30million of funding is provided by the Government’s Regional Growth Fund, matched with a further £30 million by the Co-operative Bank and Unity Trust Bank.

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