Without clear lending processes and more sensible decision-making at a local level, government targets for business loans will not be met, according to the head of one of the UK’s largest business groups.
John Longworth, the director-general of the British Chambers of Commerce, issued the warning after the government announced the release of an additional £95m from the Regional Growth Fund to support lending to small businesses for new plant and equipment.
“The new SME Regional Growth Fund scheme will help some companies obtain the finance they need to grow at home,” Longworth said. “But it is not a panacea, and will not cure the wider problems companies still face in accessing finance.”
The extra government funding was among a package of small business support measures announced this week, including 3,500 workshops organised by former Dragons’ Den panellist Doug Richard and Yell to help companies better exploit internet opportunities, and free finance advice from Barclays and the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants.