As the prime minister announced the launch of the Regional Growth Fund, business leaders called for further action from the government to help small businesses access funding. The fund of £95 million will help businesses access funding which they are unable to secure from the banks. However, business leaders are calling for greater clarity surrounding the details of the scheme.
Speaking at a London business conference, David Cameron challenged small businesses to export goods and services, venturing from their “comfort zone”. Administration of the Regional Growth Fund will be dealt with by HSBC and Royal Bank of Scotland, set up by Lord Heseltine, former deputy prime minister. According to ministers, the new fund will attract approximately £500 million of investment in Small and Medium Enterprise, with a minimum of 4000 jobs being created as a result.
Although business groups approve of the fund, the chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses, John Walker said:
“It is clear that grants will only be available to businesses that qualify for bank finance, but we still need greater clarity around the terms and conditions attached to the funding, the forms of business activity that are eligible for the grant and accompanying loan, and a clear indication of where in the UK this scheme will be available.”
David Cameron has said that it will become easier for small businesses to start up in the UK, with less administration which prevents a company from trading as soon as possible. The prime minister is looking for 100,000 businesses to export goods, boosting the economy and job creation.
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