Banks: Loans

Business, Innovation and Skills written question – answered on 24th November 2010.

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Photo of Louise Mensch Louise Mensch Conservative, Corby

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what recent steps his Department has taken to increase the level of access to finance for small and medium-sized businesses.

Photo of Mark Prisk Mark Prisk The Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills

The Government are committed to improving access to finance for small and medium sized enterprises to enable them to grow and drive the recovery.

On 1 November we published our response to the consultation on business finance issues, "Financing a private sector recovery" which is available at:

We have also published our strategy "Backing small business" available at: setting out new measures to help SMEs grow and to boost enterprise.

We have announced the following measures to increase the level of access to finance for small and medium sized firms:

A four year extension to the Enterprise Finance Guarantee (EFG) making around £2 billion available to viable SMEs without a credit history or lacking sufficient collateral.

An increased commitment to the Enterprise Capital Fund programme of £200 million to support small businesses with the highest growth potential, providing more than £300 million of venture capital investment into the equity gap after both Government and private sector funding are combined.

Furthermore, we have worked with the banks to create a new £1.5 billion Business Growth Fund, to provide equity funding of between £2 million and £10 million for small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) with strong growth potential.

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