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Enterprise Finance Guarantee Scheme

Volume 487: debated on Thursday 5 February 2009

15. To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what the level of take-up by businesses of the Enterprise Finance Guarantee has been since its introduction. (254323)

The Enterprise Finance Guarantee was launched on 14 January and we will report on its progress shortly.

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what the criteria are for businesses to qualify for help under the Enterprise Finance Guarantee Scheme. (254308)

The Enterprise Finance Guarantee (EFG) is intended to facilitate bank loans of between £1,000 and £1 million.

EFG is available to SMEs in the UK with an annual turnover of up to £25 million. Each lender is able to advise whether or not a specific business would be affected by these restrictions. The Government bear 75 per cent. of the risk of default, but the decisions on individual applications under the scheme are taken by the banks involved.

An interactive tool is available on the Real Help with Finance pages on the Business Link website at:

www.businesslink.gov.uk/realhelp/finance

for businesses to assess their suitability for EFG. However, lending under EFG is at the discretion of the lender.