The Spending Review must stimulate investment in small firms, in order to strengthen the economic environment and create jobs and growth, the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has said.
Currently, there are more than 800 grant schemes available for small firms at the local level and 18 national schemes. While agreeing that government business support is important, the FSB believes the Business Bank is an opportunity to simplify support and focus efforts on delivery.
The FSB has said that the banking sector needs more competition due to recent data showing main street banks have reduced lending to small firms
John Allan, National Chairman, Federation of Small Businesses, explained, “The recent economic picture is more positive than we have seen in a while. Our own data shows that confidence is building and is at its highest level since the start of 2011. The Chancellor must use the Spending Review to build upon this by setting out a long-term vision for ongoing investment in key areas such as skills, exports and broadband as well as the Business Bank.
“The Business Bank has the potential to be a game changer in the small business finance market, but only if its aims and funding are clearly set out. What the FSB would like to see is a long-term plan for how the Business Bank will be funded to ensure it remains independent.
“With firms struggling to access finance, reforming the business support landscape and putting all funding in one place would make support clearer for small firms, help delivery and improve the environment in which they operate.”
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