Call for targeted SME lending

12 NOV 2011

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.