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Small Businesses

Volume 491: debated on Wednesday 29 April 2009

I am in regular contact with Welsh businesses and key stakeholders in Wales, not least at the all-Wales economic summits that I attend regularly.

I thank the Secretary of State for that answer and I welcome Government measures such as the exemption on business rates for vacant business properties and the additional time allowed to pay taxes. We still need to unblock bank lending. Will the Secretary of State say what he will do to achieve that in order to help enterprising people through these tough times?

The hon. Gentleman is absolutely right that the key to small business success is the unlocking of funds from the banks. In Swansea a few weeks ago, the all-Wales economic summit met leading bankers in Wales to encourage them to do precisely that. In addition, the new enterprise guarantee fund scheme in Wales has already paid out £8 million to help 90 Welsh firms. That is real action for people in Wales.