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Start-up Businesses

Volume 549: debated on Thursday 6 September 2012

5. What support his Department is providing to start-up businesses expanding in developing areas of industry. (119395)

We aim to make the UK the best place in the world to start and run a business. That is why we are reintroducing the Smart awards for innovative new businesses, creating 24 new enterprise zones and committing a further £200 million to enterprise capital funds.

CN Creative in Accrington in my constituency is a growing company that designs and manufactures the best electronic cigarettes in the world. It is planning to move its entire production from China back to the UK, to my constituency, but the banks will not lend it the money it needs, which is preventing the move and jobs coming to Britain. Does the Minister realise how damaging it is to start-up companies when they cannot access credit?

We agree; it is very important that banks are encouraged to lend to successful businesses. That is what the coalition is doing. Incidentally, the old pessimism that manufacturing will always go east is clearly now being reversed. We are optimistic about the prospects of manufacturing in this country.

Following today’s fantastic announcement of a further £267 million investment programme in the Honda plant in my constituency, what measures will the Minister take to help start-up businesses to take advantage of the potential opportunities in the supply chains of Honda and the UK automotive industry?

Immediately after these questions my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State is going to Swindon to join Honda in this very welcome announcement. The Department absolutely understands the importance of the supply chains behind these large companies. Of course, the commitment to the supply chain is one of the many reasons why Britain is moving up the competitiveness league table.