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Crunch time for small business loans

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Chancellor Alistair Darling and Business Secretary Peter Mandelson are urging the banks to make finance available to SMEs on attractive terms.

Tarnowski is the founder of Brave New Talent, a social network that connects graduates with employers.

He has secured £100,000 from investors in a first round of funding while the management team have put in £200,000 in sweat equity.

But Tarnowski is going to RBS for another £100,000. “We’re hoping to apply for the loan in the coming weeks,” he says. “We were going to do it a couple of weeks ago and then the financial crisis happened.

“RBS has been keen to support us in the past and I’ve got a very good relationship with my bank manager, who is a huge supporter of the business."

Tarnowski was recently named the fifth-best up-and-coming entrepreneur by Natwest  – something he hopes will hold him in good stead when he asks for the cash. "RBS owns Natwest so if they refuse the loan, it wouldn’t look so good," he jokes.

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