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To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps her Department is taking to support small business growth in (a) London and (b) England.
We are committed to ensuring all small businesses have access to the advice and support they need to succeed to start, grow, and scale up their businesses.
The Government-backed British Business Bank is there to make finance markets work better for small businesses at all stages of their development. The Bank’s programmes are currently supporting over £6.6bn of finance to over 89,000 smaller businesses (in London £119m of finance to over 15,000 smaller businesses). The British Business Bank’s Start-Up Loans programme provides loans to entrepreneurs seeking to start and grow their own businesses. Since 2012, the Programme has delivered almost 66,500 loans, worth over £527m to small businesses.
There are 38 Growth Hubs (one in each Local Enterprise Partnership area) providing a free and impartial, local single point of contact to all businesses, no matter their size or sector, to access advice and support from across the public and private sector. In 2018-2019 Growth Hubs supported over 121,500 businesses (over 4,600 in London).
Through three rounds of competitive Growth Deals, Government has invested over £9bn of funding, including £435.3m to London, to empower local areas to reach their potential, boosting national productivity and growth.
All businesses can access core services, information and guidance on starting up and running a business, as well as their statutory rights and obligations, on our GOV.UK websites, and our Business Support Helpline forms a key part of the government’s offer to SMEs in England, providing trusted and joined-up information and sign-posting businesses to relevant sources of support. In 2018, it helped 31,500 businesses, of which 65% were entrepreneurs and start-ups.
We will continue to work to make small business owners more aware of the wide range of advice and support available to them.