In the latest Budget, however, chancellor George Osborne boosted the commitment from £100m to £200m – which the British Business Bank claimed would be used to supply growth loans to companies needing between £500,000 and £2m in order to “achieve potential”.
At the time of the Budget, Keith Morgan, CEO of British Business Bank, added: “We know from our own research that 46 per cent of UK firms want to expand, yet there is a market gap for smaller businesses seeking finance in the £500,000 to £2m range.
“This scheme has thus been designed to target that market failure in access to finance – we estimate as many as 500 businesses a year might be suitable for a growth loan. We hope to ensure more smaller businesses in the UK can access the finance needed to scale.”
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The scheme’s initial phase will see £30m of loans be made available through Lloyds Banking Group. Morgan further added that the money was to be given to firms looking to grow.
“The lending will be available to businesses across all sectors, and is expected to benefit most those with high levels of innovation and growth ambition – such as manufacturing businesses, creative industries and the technology sector,” Morgan said.
“Also, encouraging and supporting UK businesses to scale-up can be deemed an important milestone,” Morgan explained. “We want to replicate the drive and dynamism evident in the UK’s startup culture in later stages of the small business journey, and ‘Help To Grow’ has a critical role to play in achieving that.”
It was also suggested that the British Business Bank would be working with the European Investment Fund to bring further support to the UK market.
European Commission Vice-President Jyrki Katainen, commented on the announcement: “The EIF’s collaboration with the British Business Bank – which is supported by the Investment Plan for Europe – is very important. The UK is full of innovative startups and small business bosses which require a helping hand to grow their companies, and today’s news will certainly help many aspirations become a reality.”
Elsewhere, imagine having a 30-minute conversation with a top sales prospect every week and – here’s the real kicker – have them thank you for it. How would that impact your sales pipeline?
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