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Economic Situation

Volume 496: debated on Wednesday 9 September 2009

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what initiatives announced by his Department since November 2008 to assist (a) small and medium-sized enterprises and (b) individuals (i) have been implementend and (ii) remain to be implemented; on what date each was implemented; and if he will make a statement. (268508)

The Government acted swiftly at the beginning of the year to help small businesses survive the current economic downturn. The package of support to address the cash flow, credit and capital needs of businesses announced by my right hon. and noble Friend the Secretary of Sate on 14 January under the Real Help campaign provided:

£1 billion of guarantees supporting £1.3 billion of lending to smaller businesses through the Enterprise Finance Guarantee Scheme;

Up to £10 billion of guarantees through the Working Capital Scheme that will secure new and existing credit lines worth up to £20 billion—and free up new capital for lending; and

A £75 million capital (£50 million from HMG and £25 million from banks) fund to invest in businesses that need equity or quasi equity.

Enterprise Finance Guarantee became operational on 14 January and as of 12 August lenders have logged over £680 million of eligible applications from over 6,000 businesses which have been granted, being processed or assessed.

Capital for Enterprise Fund was open to registration from 14 January, the two fund managers have since been appointed to appraise propositions for potential investment. Funds managers have made offers totalling almost £36 million to 24 businesses, of which four businesses have accepted the terms of the offer issued with a value of £5 million. Two businesses have received investment totalling £3 million.

The Working Capital Scheme was announced on 14 January and formally launched on 2 March.

The Government have also recently launched the UK Innovation Fund as part of Government’s strategy for Building Britain’s Future.