New council to increase access to small business finance, says minister

A new enterprise scheme will help small and medium-sized businesses to access finance and take advantage of post-Brexit business opportunities, it has been revealed.

Leading representatives from central Government, banks, and lenders will form the new Business Finance Council, designed to identify and address barriers faced by SMEs in securing finance.

Alongside this announcement, the Government also revealed that there is approximately £300 million available to lenders this year through the British Business Bank’s (BBB) Enterprise Finance Guarantee (EFG).

This funding enables lenders to finance high-risk small businesses in scenarios where they would usually be turned down for credit.

The BBB is also increasing its ENABLE Guarantee programme capacity to £1 billion. The scheme reduces the amount of regulatory capital that participating lenders need to hold against their loans to small businesses to increase access to finance.

Commenting on the announcement, Business Secretary Andrea Leadsom said: “Lenders must empower their SME customers to seize the huge variety of opportunities that lie ahead as we leave the EU on 31 October.

“Our new Business Finance Council will bring together key players, ensuring that finance continues to flow to our brilliant British businesses so they can do just that.

“Our financial system is strong and banks have the capacity to lend. I would urge lenders to take advantage of the support on offer from our fantastic British Business Bank.”

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