Small Businesses

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Treasury – in the House of Commons at 11:30 am on 30th October 2008.

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Photo of Alistair Darling Alistair Darling The Chancellor of the Exchequer 11:30 am, 30th October 2008

My right hon. Friend has done a good job of providing a trailer for Monday afternoon's performance. He rightly draws attention to the fact that today, many businesses find things difficult because of the prevailing economic conditions. We need to make sure that banks do not make a difficult situation worse. As I say, that does not mean that every business will get what it wants, on the terms that it wants—because although something might have been a good business prospect 12 months ago, the situation may be different today. It means that banks have got to play their part. Small businesses rely on banks for support more than large businesses do. The banks need to remember that although they go looking for customers in the good times, when times get more difficult their customers depend on them, so it is important that they play their part. My right hon. Friend Lord Mandelson, the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform, will meet small business representatives and banks regularly to ensure that if problems arise, we work through them, because it is important that we make sure that support gets through to where it is needed.

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