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An early Christmas present for small businesses

christmas star

An announcement in the Autumn Statement came as a surprise gift for small businesses this year.

The Treasury have guaranteed a £400m extension of the government–backed venture capital funds, Enterprise Capital Funds, which invest in small to medium-sized businesses.

New bank lending to SMEs was also guaranteed at £500m. The British Business Bank, established by Vince Cable in 2013, will carry out the schemes.

There will also be an extension on the Funding for Lending scheme (FLS), with an exclusive focus on small businesses.

The Chancellor, George Osborne, said: 'Now that credit conditions for households and large businesses have improved, it is right that we focus the scheme's firepower on small businesses, which are the lifeblood of our economy.'

Business rates will also be reviewed.

John Allan, the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) Chairman, regarded the injection of funding and prioritisation of small businesses in the Autumn Statement as a positive step.

He said: 'The Chancellor has listened to the needs of business, despite tight public finances. The focus must be on reducing the deficit not just for this Government but whoever holds the keys to Number 11 next year.

The FSB is delighted to see the double small business rate relief remain for another year and a full review of the outdated businesses rates system, something we’ve long argued for.

The £400 million released to back the British Business Bank and an extension to the Funding for Lending scheme will provide much needed cash for small businesses.'


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