SMEs Need Better Information on Government Finance Schemes

Posted on 06.11.2013, by Rob Warlow

I often hear business owners say there is little help for them to get finance and yet there are a number of schemes out there. So why is it that the existing of the various schemes are not widely known?

This is one finding highlighted in a review on government finance support carried out by the Nation Audit Office (NAO). The NAO has concluded that despite a renewed focus by the government on the challenges facing SMEs in raising finance, there is scope for the range of initiatives to work towards a more unified offering.

The NAO found that schemes such as the Enterprise Finance Guarantee and Start-Up Loans provided direct support to around 5,900 firms in 2012-13, and whilst the schemes are generally performing positively it is felt the profile of the schemes needs to be raised.

The new Business Bank, which is due to be launched in 2014, will be the organisation to bring the schemes together but in the meantime more needs to be done to improve awareness.

The NAO also report found that, at present, although the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS) and HM Treasury both have teams dealing with ‘enterprise’ policy, there is no formal research programme joining the Departments with other departments, such as HMRC, all of which have an interest in SMEs.

In past blogs we have shared information on lending to SME from sources such as the Bank of England, British Bankers Association, the SME business barometer and yet there is no one single point of source.

It’s as in all things in life… you have to know where to hunt out the right information and of course BLS is one of those sources of information so keep reading our blog!

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