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New government council to support SMEs

Business secretary Andrea Leadsom will co-chair a new business finance council designed to provide support for small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs) ahead of the UK’s exit from the European Union. 

The council will comprise senior representatives from the UK’s leading banks and co-lenders, and will be co-chaired by economic secretary to the treasury, John Glen. Michael Gove and small business minister Kelly Tolhurst will also sit on the committee. 

Leadsom said: ”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.”

The council will identify and address any barriers faced by SMEs in securing the finance they need.

Lenders will be able to access £300m of further “headroom” for this year from the British Business Bank’s Enterprise Finance Guarantee (EFG), which helps smaller businesses to obtain loans. 

The news follows chancellor Sajid Javid’s spending review on 4 September, in which he announced a further £241m for the regeneration of high streets. 

Read more: Chancellor ‘missed a trick’ on business rates



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