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New Government Campaign Launched To Aid SMEs

Vince Cable Confirms £45 Million Funding Package For Small Businesses


Business secretary Vince Cable has confirmed that £45 million will be given to two firms in the hope that it will make it easier for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to gain access to credit.

The money will be split between investment companies Praesidian Capital Europe (£30 million) and BMS Finance (£15 million), who will be expected to use the funds to provide debt finance of £125 million to Britain's startup organisations in 2014.

Mr Cable revealed that this will be one of a number of new measures aimed at helping the nation's SMEs to expand.

A £1 million Sector Mentoring Challenge Fund is being introduced, while the Biotechnology and Biological Science Research Council is also offering £10 million to entrepreneurial scientists.

The business secretary added that the Growth Accelerator scheme - which offers expert business coaching - continues to give SMEs a major boost. A new business support website is being launched by the government too.

"Today we have set out a comprehensive package of measures that will address the concerns of small firms," Mr Cable remarked.

"Alongside cutting red tape and increasing the take up of business rate relief, government has already made significant progress in improving the business outlook for small firms and entrepreneurs."

Skills and enterprise minister Matthew Hancock said SMEs are a "vital driver" of the UK economy and it is important that the government supports the country's 4.9 million small businesses as much as it can.

SMEs are now finding it easier to gain access to credit, although some believe the government could be doing more to help them expand.

A recent report by global technology company blur Group showed that just eight per cent of small British companies think the authorities are doing all they can to aid their attempts to explore international markets.

Around 44 per cent of the survey respondents said they were not sure exactly what the government was doing to improve the situation.

Expert Opinion
Small businesses are rightly viewed by many as key to the continuing economic recovery and these new measures announced by the Government highlight that Westminster shares that view.

"However, while having access to finance and the right general business guidance is important for growing firms, we would also urge them to ensure that structural they are in the best possible position to take expand.

"A key part of this is having the right level of advice on board, whether it is employment expertise related to a growing workforce and the need for the right policies to be in place, or support regarding commercial property or litigation issues.

"Creating an environment for business growth is an important step, but SMEs must always remember that they need to be prepared to take full advantage of such opportunities."
Fergal Dowling, Partner