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Small Businesses: West Midlands

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy written question – answered on 5th November 2019.

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Photo of Andrew Mitchell Andrew Mitchell Conservative, Sutton Coldfield

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) Sutton Coldfield and (b) the West Midlands.

Photo of Kelly Tolhurst Kelly Tolhurst Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)

We are committed to ensuring all small businesses have access to the advice and support they need to start, grow, and scale up their businesses.

The Government-backed British Business Bank (BBB) 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. The BBB’s Start-Up Loans programme provides loans to entrepreneurs seeking to start and grow their own businesses. Since 2012, the Programme has delivered over 67,000 loans, worth over £534m and 99 of these, totalling £857,912 went to small businesses in Sutton Coldfield constituency.

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.

There are 38 Growth Hubs, one in each Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) 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 sectors. The 6 Growth Hubs that encompass the wider West Midlands region have self-reported that in 2018-2019 they helped in excess of 10,864 businesses.

Through three rounds of competitive Growth Deals, Government has invested over £9bn of funding, boosting national productivity and growth.

The LEPs in the West Midlands region have been awarded Growth Deal funding totalling £1,080.2m and City Deal funding of £59.8m to invest in projects that benefit the local area and economy. This includes projects such as Universities@IBC where Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP has invested £2.49m to provide additional state-of-the-art enterprise space, extending the existing Faraday Wharf business incubation building at the Innovation Birmingham Campus.

SME’s in the West Midlands will also benefit from The Midlands Engine Investment Fund, which is providing a huge investment of over £250 million. It will support small businesses in the Midlands to start and grow, it has now invested nearly £50 million into over 140 SMEs.

We will continue to work to make small business owners more aware of the wide range of advice and support available to them.

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