Sunny

Sunny

max temp: 14°C

min temp: 5°C

ESTD 1874 Search

UK: East of England firms ‘benefit least’ from finance scheme for small firms

09:00 21 February 2013

Business and Enterprise Minister Michael Fallon

Business and Enterprise Minister Michael Fallon

Businesses in the East of England are amongst those benefiting least from a scheme to give small firms access to finance.

shares

The Enterprise Finance Guarantee (EFG), introduced in 2009 in response to the credit crunch, sees the Treasury act as guarantor on 75pc of individual bank loans between £1000 and £1m to small and medium sized firms finding it hard to access a commercial loan.

But a report carried out by academics for the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) showed firms in the east had not participated as much as other areas.

In the Eastern region 14.7 firms in every 10,000 had gained finance through EFG, compared to 17 in the West Midlands, 16.8 in the East Midlands, 16.6 in the South East, 16.4 in the North East and 16 in the North West.

Firms in Wales and Scotland also received finance through the EFG more than businesses in the east. Meanwhile companies in Yorkshire, the South East and London used the initiative less.

Chris Starkie is programme manager at the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership, a grouping of council and business leaders from East Anglia.

He said: “We are encouraging businesses to challenge the banks to ask them for finance and also not to assume that they are going to say ‘no’.

“Ensuring business can access finance is an important priority for us, that’s why next month we’ll be launching our business growth fund that will provide grant finance for expanding firms.”

The BIS study suggested EFG added £1.1bn to the UK economy overall, and that for every £1 invested it had helped deliver £33.50 in output.

Meanwhile the researchers, from the University of Durham, argued it had created 6,500 jobs and safeguarded more than 12,000 across the UK.

They suggested lower rates of participation in the East could be because it was more prosperous are with businesses having better access to conventional bank lending.

But business minister Michael Fallon admitted further pressure needed to be exerted to ensure the initiative performed well in all areas.

He said: “Clearly the demand is there for this type of financial support so we must start to see an increase in take-up.

“I have already begun publishing EFG lending by each individual bank, because businesses should know which bank they are best off approaching and I will continue holding the banks to account until lending levels improve.”

shares

0 comments

Alex Till of Menta.

Enterprise agency Menta has launched a new Digital Enterprise Engagement Programme (DEEP), offering newly formed local businesses and those who are self-employed access to free digital training courses.

Solar farm. Library image.

A proposed solar park in Wix has been tipped for approval by council planning officers.

The headquarters of Realise Futures in Ipswich.

Ipswich-based social enterprise Realise Futures has won a contract to provide supported employment services for adults with disabilities across a wide area of Essex.

Stage 5 of the Womens Tour passes through Onehouse on their way to Bury St Edmunds last year

Schoolchildren will also be involved in an evening of activities in Bury St Edmunds ahead of the start of a major women’s cycling event.

Cloud telecoms company X-on has launched Cuube, a new online communications services platform.

Cloud telecoms company X-on, based at the Framlingham Technology Centre, has launched Cuube, a new online communications services platform.

Paul Rous, of Bruisyard Hall, has launched a tech startup venture with Mark Pearson

A Suffolk entrepreneur has teamed up with a top technology investor, who made millions from a website he created with just £300, to help finance new ideas.

Jeremy Goulding, front, left, chief executive of Wheatley, is congratulated by Innovatioin Martlesham chair Ian Buxton on winning the first Innovationi Martlesham competition. Also pictured, from left, are Paul O'Brien of BT, Jane Bromley of Wheatley, Mike Ward of Wheatley and Mohamed Abdel-Maguid from University Campus Suffolk.

Software company Wheatley has been named winner of a new competition staged by Innovation Martlesham, the cluster of hi-tech companies based at BT’s Adastral Park research site, near Ipswich.

Total unemployment in the UK has reached a near seven year low, official figures showed today.
Photo: Philip Toscano/PA Wire

Unemployment in the UK has continued to fall and a record 31million people are in now work, according to the final labour market figures before the General Election.

The Nestle Purina plant in Sudbury.

KitKat, Nescafe and Shredded Wheat maker Nestlé said today that first quarter sales had been boosted by an earlier Easter, but with growth dented by currency changes after the Swiss central bank’s shock decision to lift a cap on the franc.

Most read

Topic pages