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Government to lend almost £1bn to small businesses

Chancellor George Osborne has announced a lending package of nearly £1bn for small and medium-sized businesses ahead of today’s Autumn Statement.

The Treasury has pledged £400m to extend Enterprise Capital Funds, which invests in SMEs, and will guarantee up to £500m of new bank lending to small businesses through the Enterprise Finance Guarantee scheme.

The Funding for Lending scheme to boost bank lending to small firms will also be extended until January 2016.

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.”

He is also expected to pledge to overhaul the structure of business rates in the Autumn Statement, according to The Telegraph.

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