Posted on 24th October 2018
Britain’s 5.7 million small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are the backbone of the economy, accounting for 60% of employment in the private sector. Making sure these businesses can access the finance they need to fulfil thelr growth potential is a key part of our modern lndustrial Strategy. These are some recent initiatives of which you and your constituents may wish to be aware.
Supportinq newly-created enterprises
From March 2012 to July 2018, our successful Start-Up Loans initiative delivered more than 57,000 loans across all parts of the UK, lending a total of f436 million and contributing to the creation of more than 56,600 jobs.
Over the same period, the programme has made 47 loans to businesses with a total value of £412,536 in your constituency of Mid Sussex. This scheme has been successful in reaching groups who may find it harder to access finance from commercial lenders. For example, 39% of entrepreneurs benefiting from a start-up loan are women and 21% are from an ethnic minority background, as compared to 19% and 4% in the SME population as a whole.
We have committed to increasing this support so that 75,000 start-up businesses will have been supported by the end of this Parliament.
The British Business Bank We are delivering a range of other programmes through the Government-owned British Business Bank to improve access to finance for smaller businesses. The bank is currently supporting around £5.2 billion of finance to almost 75,000 UK businesses.
Its aims include:
The British Business Bank has recently launched an online Finance Hub to help entrepreneurs identify and access the right type of finance. The hub also includes checklists to help businesses get ‘investor ready’, articles from finance providers and case studies from a broad range of sectors. An Intemet search for ‘Finance Hub’ is the simplest way to access this resource. The full address is: www.british-business-bank.co.uk/finance-hub/
Addressing practices that adversely impact SMEs
Where we see practices that unfairly constrain SMEs’ finance choices, we are prepared to act. A recent example is invoice finance, which is an arrangement whereby businesses assign their right to a payment from a customer to a finance provider in return for an advance of funds. At present, some SMEs are prevented from using invoice finance because of contract terms imposed by their customers that prohibit assignment.
From 31 December 2018 when the Assignment of Receivables Regulations come into force, any such contractual restrictions entered into after 31 December 2018, with certain exceptions, would have no effect and could be disregarded by small businesses and finance providers. This new measure is expected to provide a long-term boost to the UK economy worth almost £1bn.
Finally, the overall level of late payment debt owed to SMEs has fallen substantially. lt stood at £14.2bn last year, down from £30.3bn five years ago according to BACS, the payment service provider. This is welcome progress and I am determined to see the level of late payment debt reduce still further.
As announced last week: .
These proposals are explored further within a call for evidence on tackling late payment, also launched last week, which invites proposals on what more could be done to establish a responsible payment culture.
Britain’s small and medium enterprises deserve both recognition and practical support. The initiatives I have outlined above support the goal of making the UK the best place in the world to start and grow a business. Please help spread the word by highlighting these opportunities to both existing businesses and new entreprerleurp in your constituency
KELLY TOLHURST MP Minister for Small Business, Consumers & Corporate Responsibility
"The BHBPA is the most effective and dynamic business organisation I have ever worked with in over 30 years in Local Government. It has a very active and large membership whose points of view are taken seriously by all government structures. Peter Liddell does an excellent job in providing unique and enjoyable networking opportunities where members interact and discuss points of mutual interest. It provides a forum for businesses to discuss common issues, to share experiences and to play a powerful and meaningful role in the Burgess Hill community. The BHBPA provides important and credible support for all its members and ensures that their best interests are represented where necessary. "
"The BHBPA is an energetic and vocal organisation that connects and empowers and informs the local business community acting as an effective conduit to local authority and other organisations. We are proud to be part of that community and the association."
"If Carlsberg did networking they would do it the BHBPA way. Each event is packed with great ideas, thought provoking presentations and fun. As a small business we feel supported and part of the community. We have built friendships and business relationships and there is always plenty of advice on hand to benefit us all so don’t hesitate to join whatever the nature of your business. "
"“Sutton Winson have been members of the BHBPA for around 7 years. We have found it a great way to keep in touch with Burgess Hill businesses and to meet with likeminded people. It’s not just another “networking” group, as it tackles the real issues and gets things done”"