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Small businesses outside the capital could benefit from a fund of £200 million set aside by Santander UK. The bank’s move is seen as challenging the other high street banks while proving their commitment to the development of small business.

Lending to Small and Medium Enterprise is viewed by the new chief executive of Santander, Ana Botin, as the way to generate economic growth. The fund will be available over the next three years, providing support for projects that include university scholarships and training.

The bank will also invest in several of the funds set up for regional growth to support local businesses. Santander will set up the fund rather than contribute £1.3 billion to the government’s Big Society Bank, which is being set up to fund business development and social projects. Ms Botin has made it clear that she intends to keep control of the bank’s investments. The fund will be launched with a pilot scheme in Birmingham, with the regional board being made up of local council members, local business representatives and representatives of the bank. Small and Medium Enterprise will benefit from a 20 percent increase in lending in 2011.

It is vital that a business has accurate and timely records, with financial reports and an investment strategy in place if they want to be considered for a business loan. Any potential investor will want to see accurate records with growth reports, as well as contingency plans. A low cost accountants will ensure that you have all records and reports complete and up to date. Online accounting allows a potential investor to see actual figures rather than projection reports.

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