asked the Secretary of State for Industry (1) if he will make a statement as to what loan guarantees are available for those who either work in, or intend to set up manufacturing or services businesses in (a) the inner city partnership areas, (b) the inner city or programme areas, (c) other urban areas, (d) special development areas and (e) intermediate areas;(2) what Government loans or grants are available for (
a) starting a small business, ( b) extending business premises and ( c) the purchase of capital equipment in a small business.
[pursuant to his reply, 12 February 1980]: Government-backed loan guarantees are not available generally in any of the areas mentioned. The Scottish and Welsh Development Agencies do, however, have powers to guarantee lending to small firms and the Welsh Development Agency has recently commenced a pilot scheme involving three major banks. There are no nation-wide loan or grant schemes available to small businesses as such.The Government operates an exchange risk guarantee scheme for loans in assisted areas from the European Investment Bank, and reconversion loans for the European Coal and Steel Community. The Government also give a guarantee of repayment on EIB loans of £17,000 to £2,500,000 for which they act as the EIB's agent. Small businesses are also eligible for most other forms of Government assistance to industry—subject to the various rules of these schemes about geographical location and type and size of eligible projects.If my hon. Friend will send me details of particular examples which he has in mind I will give more details of the relevant schemes.