The federation of small businesses (FSB) has called for a new £1 billion 'survival fund' to help save the industry, ahead of a critical meeting between the Chancellor and the banks today.
Alistair Darling and the Business Secretary Lord Mandelson will today urge the bosses of Britain’s banks to increase small business lending to last year’s levels, amid concerns that a lack of investment will cost thousands more jobs in the sector.
The government has already proposed a £350 million package to help improve training and provide quicker access to government funds. However, the FSB has asked the government to go further with the creation of a new £1 billion Small Business Survival Fund, which would be open to all small businesses.
Last week, the British Shops and Stores Association (BSSA) chief executive John Dean also called for banks to maintain existing overdraft and lending facilities.
There are about 4.5 million small businesses in the UK, employing around 14 million people.