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Small Businesses: Government Assistance

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy written question – answered on 4th February 2020.

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Photo of David Evennett David Evennett Conservative, Bexleyheath and Crayford

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) Bexley Borough, (b) London and (c) the UK.

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

We want to make sure that the UK is the best place in the world to work and grow a business. That’s why we are backing businesses right across the country, with 381,000 new businesses starting last year, and the government-owned British Business Bank currently supports more than £7bn to over 91,000 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 more than 69,000 Start-Up Loans, providing more than £558m of funding, in every part of the United Kingdom. Since 2012:

In addition to its lending and investment activity, the British Business Bank’s online Finance Hub helps business owners to find the right finance options for their needs.

Government has also taken a number of steps in recent years to support the growth of small businesses across the UK, including cutting corporation tax to 19 per cent and increasing the employment allowance from £2,000 to £3,000 to benefit around 1m businesses. Reforms and reliefs to business rates, since Budget 2016, are worth £13 billion over the next five years.

All businesses in England including your constituency and London, can access support through our Gov.uk website, the Business Support Helpline (0300 456 3565) and through their Local Growth Hubs.

As well as an online support, London has recently opened five main physical sites (that will be staffed) in Vauxhall, Woolwich, Tottenham, Hammersmith and Corydon, and 4 satellite sites (to ensure a wide coverage of the sub regions) in Harrow, Wood Green, Brixton and Ilford to deliver surgeries and workshops. These are led and governed by London’s Local Enterprise Partnership, LEAP. Growth Hubs provide a free, impartial, ‘single point of contact’ to help businesses in these areas identify and access the right support for them at the right time no matter their size or sector. In 2018-2019 the London Growth Hub supported 4,651 businesses.

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