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Business: Northern Ireland

Business, Innovation and Skills written question – answered on 18th July 2013.

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Photo of Margaret Ritchie Margaret Ritchie Shadow SDLP Spokesperson (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs), Shadow SDLP Spokesperson (Energy and Climate Change)

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what his policy is on extending the provision of the Business Bank to Northern Ireland.

Photo of Michael Fallon Michael Fallon The Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills , Minister of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change

The flexibilities recently put in place under the Business Bank programme are already making a difference to Northern Irish businesses:

The Start Up Loans scheme was extended to cover Northern Ireland last month. This will give people in NI who wish to start up their own business access to unsecured loans and tailored advice from a fund of £117 million.

Earlier this month, Northern Irish businesses also became eligible to receive investments from the £100 million Business Angel Cofund.

In addition, through its future wholesale products, we expect the bank to create more diverse and sustainable supplies of finance for businesses looking to grow and foster greater competition by leveraging funds through challenger banks.

Officials in the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) will also be running a roadshow event in Northern Ireland for potential applicants for the Business Bank's first £300 million investment programme in the coming months.

BIS are continuing to work with the Executive and the main banks in Northern Ireland to help them receive the full benefits of the Business Bank's interventions and to ensure that it is relevant to the needs of NI businesses.

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