Banks should support growth

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DESPITE the economic gloom, there is some good news to be found among businesses in our region.

For two out of every five small and medium sized companies are planning to seek financial support to fund expansion plans in the coming year.

And most are confident that they will find the financial package they need to make their businesses grow and bolster the local economy.

Of course, this is great news for local people with a brighter future than many had expected, judging by the national and international picture.

But there is a cloud on the horizon. For many businesses say they do not expect the banking sector to support their projects. This is depressing. The banks have a major role to play in bolstering local businesses and should take this survey as a wake up call to alert them to the enthusiasm and potential for growth in our region.

They should nurture the confidence being shown. Who knows, they may even begin to feel confident themselves.

You can help us treat someone

CHRISTMAS is coming and we hope it will bring out all the best characteristics in our readers by getting behind our 12 Days of Christmas appeal.

The appeal is run in conjunction with good cause Help A Child Have A Chance and will see a slice of a £10,000 pay out go to worthy youngsters in our area.

We want you to nominate a youngster who is deserving of a Christmas treat.

Full details are to be found on Page 3 today but the most important thing is for you to let the natural spirit of Christmas flow and realise you really can spread a bit of festive cheer to some deserving youngsters in the region.

The power of water

SHEFFIELD’S wealth and influence was initially built on the power of the city’s rivers. They turned the mighty machines which pounded out the metal products to establish Sheffield as a world beater in its field. Now there is a chance for those rivers to return to their position of prominence in Sheffield’s fortunes with a pioneering project to develop a hydro-electric power station. Behind the idea is social enterprise company Sheffield Renewables who say the scheme would produce enough electricity to power 80 average-sized homes. But they need the help of the public to vote in an X Factor-style competition with the winners cashing in on a multi-thousand pound funding windfall. Get behind this scheme and let’s see Sheffield once more harnessing the natural power of its rivers.