Start-ups benefitting from government funding

Thursday 31 July 2014

Limited companies and sole traders are continuing to benefit from government funding to help them get their businesses off the ground.

The government has revealed that the 20,000th Start Up Loan has been awarded, meaning more than £100 million has now been given to entrepreneurs in the UK.

Seven Bro7hers brewery is just one of the companies that has benefit from the loans so far and prime minister David Cameron visited the company during his regional tour in the north-west.

"As part of our long-term economic plan we are backing business and ensuring our budding entrepreneurs get the finance and support they need to kick-start and grow their businesses," he said.

"Business and enterprise mean more jobs for hard working people; more opportunities for people to break out on their own and be their own boss; and more prosperity and economic security for us all."

The recipient of the 20,000th loan was 55-year-old Melissa Mailer from Stratford-upon-Avon. The £6,000 loan will be used to finance Shakespuss & Co Ltd, which develops animated characters to introduce children to Shakespeare plays.

Andrew Fahey, commercial director at Brookson, said: "It's great to see that more and more entrepreneurs are accessing the finance they need to start their business. Becoming self-employed is becoming a more popular way of working but a lack of funds can often prevent individuals from realising their dreams of going it alone. With lending to small and micro-businesses from the big banks still falling below expectations, it is important that limited companies and sole traders can find finance through other channels.

"Of course, more still needs to be done to in order to help entrepreneurs get on their feet. Small and micro-businesses are the driving forces of the recovery and in order to drive growth need to be properly supported."

Start Up Loans are just one form of government support for small companies. Other measures include the Employment Allowance, which is aimed at putting up to £2,000 back into the ownership of entrepreneurs. Small business rate relief has also been extended until 2015.

Other initiatives designed to make lives easier for the self-employed include scrapping or amending 3,000 rules to lower red tape and save over £1.2 billion, and creating one of the most competitive tax regimes in the world.

The government has also increased apprenticeships to 1.8 million since 2010 and has been increasing the quality of training each apprentice receives. Additionally, firms that hire an apprentice can receive grants of up to £1,000.

On top of this, the government has launched the Business Banking Insight site, which is designed to look at how well small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are being served by banks.

The site was commissioned by chancellor George Osborne and will be used to publicly showcase the experiences of more than 5,000 businesses and how they rate their banks.

The government is hopeful that this will improve trust and transparency between financial institutions and SMEs, thereby making it easier for entrepreneurs to secure funds for their companies.

By Victoria McDonnell

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