MORE work needs to be done by the Government to help businesses thrive during the difficult economic period.
That is according to John Allan, chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses for Merseyside, West Cheshire and Wigan, following Government plans to expand start-up loans for young entrepreneurs.
Last week the Government announced a £30m boost to start-up loans, to be offered to potentially thousands of new businesses.
Mr Allan said: “By increasing the pot for start-up loans by £30m to £110m over the next three years, and the age range of those eligible from 24 to 30 in order to meet demand, the Government is moving in the right direction in addressing the gap in small business finance.
“But it needs to pick up the pace considerably and not lose focus on rebuilding the broken relationship between small businesses and banks.
“The Government is indeed acting on a number of fronts but failed initiatives, including Project Merlin’s lending targets, combined with the financial scandals of mis-selling and the manipulation of the inter-bank lending rate, have fuelled scepticism and a sense of alienation among small business owners.
“Fewer than one in 10 firms responding to the FSB’s quarter four Voice of Small Business index considered credit to be easily available. That is simply not good enough.”
Chester MP Stephen Mosley welcomed the funding boost.
He said: “I would encourage any budding entrepreneur in Chester to apply for a start-up loan to get their business ideas moving.
“This £30m boost will make a huge difference to hundreds of young people who have always aspired to own their own business, helping new companies get started and bringing jobs and growth to our economy.”