Government must streamline lending schemes for SMEs

Federation of Small Businesses Regional Chairman Gordon Millward
Federation of Small Businesses Regional Chairman Gordon Millward
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The Federation of Small Businesses is calling for Government lending schemes to be more streamlined.

The FSB has backed the findings of a Parliamentary committee that found that there are too many overlapping schemes, better evaluation is needed of their effectiveness and better communications are needed to make business aware of the aid that is available.

FSB regional chairman and Sheffield businessman Gordon Millward said: “Recent FSB research shows hundreds of schemes available to support small and medium-sized businesses, but no clear mechanism for evaluation, co-ordination or communication either at national or local level.

“At the central Government level the FSB agrees the British Business Bank should be the mechanism to simplify existing Government lending schemes and believes it should also provide information about alternative lending to small firms.

“The Business Department needs to clarify what the success measures are for existing schemes as well as for new schemes that are introduced. The FSB believes this must include total increased lending as well as how the schemes fit with each other. Above all, the British Business Bank must look at how these schemes are communicated to business so that small firms have much more awareness about the schemes which are available to them.”

The FSB is calling on the Government to set up an American-style small business administration department.