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Business: Government Assistance

Volume 487: debated on Wednesday 11 February 2009

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will assess the merits of providing financial assistance to small and medium-sized businesses to meet their costs in respect of making redundancies during the recession. (255581)

The Government recognise the need of supporting small and medium-sized business during the recession. In the pre-Budget report on 24 November 2008, my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced a package of Government support for small and medium-sized businesses to help them through the current economic difficulties. Since then, the Government have been working alongside the banks, business organisations and financial organisations to ensure that we speedily transform this announcement into real help for business.

On 14 January 2009, as part of the Government’s Real Help for Business, the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform announced that businesses can now access the full range of support. In particular, the Enterprise “Finance Guarantee” is designed to help good businesses, who are currently not able to access the finance they need, to secure loans of between £1,000 and £1 million through the Government guarantee. This scheme will enable banks to open additional lines of credit worth £1.3 billion, available to businesses with turnover up to £25 million. It is available from a range of high street banks.