More government support for small businesses, including lifting the cap on Start Up Loans scheme

Ministers have pledged further backing for small businesses as one of its support schemes made its 5,000th loan to a young entrepreneur.


Ministers have pledged further backing for small businesses as one of its support schemes made its 5,000th loan to a young entrepreneur.

At an event at 10 Downing Street to celebrate the contribution that small businesses make to the economy, prime minister David Cameron announced that all the recommendations made in a recent report by his enterprise adviser Lord Young will be accepted – including lifting the cap on its Start Up Loans initiative.

The government says it will also be made easier for these people, and other small businesses owners, to access the right advice and support to succeed in the global race.

Caroline Bennett received the landmark loan of £7,000 to help get her online dating ideas business, Great Date London, off the ground. 

She was joined by a range of small firms and business groups at the event in the Downing Street garden with the prime minister and ministers from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS).

Bennett says, ‘The loan has given my business the boost it needed to get off the ground. Although there is more risk attached to entrepreneurship, I haven’t regretted it for a moment; I actually wake up in the morning looking forward to starting work.’

The event was part of the government’s GREAT campaign and celebrated the important contribution that small businesses make to the UK economy, with small firms accounting for 99.9 per cent of all businesses in the UK.

The recommendations from Lord Young’s report will also inform the work BIS is leading with the small business community to refresh the 2011 small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) strategy ‘Bigger, Better Business’.

The publication, expected in the autumn, will look at making it easier for SMEs to access the right support, and to improve the way government communicates with firms.

Business secretary Vince Cable says, ‘Half of all jobs in this country come from SMEs. So if we’re to get our economy going again, we must do all we can to support them.

‘Many of the measures we’ve focused on so far such as better access to finance, mentoring and scrapping red tape have already helped. There is a record number 4.8 million small businesses in the UK, and the figures have suggested record numbers of start-ups. 5,000 of them are now being backed by our Start Up Loans scheme, which is rolling out rapidly.’

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