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Southport and  Mersey Reporter -  Your free online newspaper service covering the Merseyside region - (Greater Liverpool).
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Updated over every Wednesday night.   Your news...   Your words...

Issue:-  23/24 December 2009

Over £500m of Government-Backed Loans Boosts Business Prospects

COMPANIES from printing firms to lighting groups have improved their business prospects after benefitting from more than half a billion pounds of Government-backed loans, Small Business Minister Lord Davies announced today.

More than £580m in loans has been drawn down by more than 5,840 businesses under the Enterprise Finance Guarantee (EFG), and
is already being used to boost cash flow and help companies invest in new staff and equipment. Loans totalling around £720m have been offered to businesses.

The announcement came as the Department for Business published a report into the effectiveness of the scheme.

The early stage assessment of EFG showed 94 per cent of respondents said their business prospects had improved following
receipt of the loan, and 84 per cent reported EFG had helped their prospects of survival. Almost all EFG recipients felt that they wouldn’t have been able to achieve the same business outcomes at the same speed or scale, if at all, without EFG.

Trade, Investment and Small Business Minister Lord Davies said:- “These impressive results show the Government is providing real help to businesses when they need it, helping to secure jobs and give businesses the capital they need to invest and grow. The Enterprise Finance Guarantee has been welcomed by business and, following its recent extension, it will continue to play a vital role in encouraging enterprise and investment and driving productivity and growth throughout the UK economy.”

Other benefits included:-

· Improved cash flow

· The introduction of new products or processes

· Using EFG as a platform for businesses growth

. Around 60% said the funding helped to create jobs at their business, either already or anticipated at some point in the future

· 57% of the respondents reported they had saved jobs, all attributed to EFG.

According to the 385 respondent businesses, some 1,870 jobs have been saved, 350 jobs have already been created and a further 550 new jobs are expected in the future, due to receiving EFG-backed lending.

Scaling up this sample to the entire population of firms offered EFG-backed loans up to the start of October, suggests EFG could have already been responsible for saving and creating an estimated 31,600 jobs, with potentially around a further 8,400 jobs to be saved or created in the future.

As of 18 December, more than £1.04bn of eligible applications from over 9,200 firms have been granted, are being processed or assessed. More than 7,100 businesses have been offered loans totalling nearly £717m. This is lending that would not have otherwise taken place.

At Pre-Budget Report, the Chancellor announced EFG would continue for another year. The decision will enable up to £500m of
additional bank lending between 1 April 2010 and 31 March 2011 to companies which lack the collateral to get a normal commercial loan. It is available for viable firms with an annual turnover of up to £25m, looking for loans of up to £1m for a period of up to 10 years.

Chief Secretary to the Treasury Liam Byrne said:- “Complacency is the biggest threat to the recovery and Government needs to continue to support the economy until recovery is locked in. By extending the Enterprise Finance Guarantee for another twelve months in the Pre-Budget Report, the Chancellor demonstrated the Government's determination to continue supporting businesses. Withdrawing that support would put the recovery at risk.”


MERSEYSIDE residents are reporting that a company selling alarms is contacting them stating that they are giving a good deal
if the resident will buy a house alarm. The majority of companies are genuine. It is however recommended that if you wish to purchase a house alarm you get at  least 3 quotes from various companies and check the cost of their maintenance before you sign any contract. Also check that they are SSAIB or NSI accredited.

Our top ten predictions for 2010

THESE are our light hearted predictions for 2010.  Lets see if they come true!

1. The general election must be held before 3 June 3 2010. So our prediction is that the biggest ever swing in popular opinion could deliver victory to the Liberal Democrats...

2. The 2010 FIFA World Cup will see the England, on 12 June 2010, lose to the United States...

3. After November 2010, the film adaptation of the final Harry Potter film, the Deathly Hallows will hit all time box office heights throughout the world, becoming the biggest film of 2010.

4. The Commonwealth Games will see only 70 of the expected 72 nations taking part in 17 disciplines.

5. The recession could end in 2010, but as the UK has languished in the longest recession since modern records began, we think we will only start to pull out in the third quarter of the tax year of 2010.

6. It will be a white Easter in 2010. There will be snow in the Home Counties.

7. Jedward will be back in the press many times over in 2010. That is if David Hasselhof, who has huge power in the US media thanks to his roles in the hit TV shows such as Baywatch and Knight Rider, gets them into a show. So we think in 2010 that Jedward will be on the TV and very likely on at the flicks next year... so expect a tuneless New Year!

8. Firefighters will strike on Merseyside.

9. MySpace will hit the headlines again as it re-brands as a content network, dropping the emphasis on social networking.

10. Liverpool One will overtake the Trafford Centre in Manchester as the North West's premier shopping destination.

One extra for you all. On a lighter note, we think that Santa will have to quit his job, as he will not pass a CRB check, because he is unable provide a credible record of his birth.

So what are your predictions for 2010.  Let us know by emailing us to:-


THERE have been some incidents in the Southport area of men calling at the homes of older residents. They have used various ploys to enter either the property of the residents or conned them into thinking they had been sent by a Residents' Association.

The house owner has then either been asked to part with more money than was agreed with the men before they started an agreed task, or have taken money from the property without the owner's consent.

The common factor in the majority of the incidents reported is the bogus callers arrive in a white van. The police would be very interested in the registration of this vehicle.


LOCK - keep your front and back doors locked, even when at home.

STOP - Before you answer the door THINK are you expecting anyone?

CHECK - Have you locked the back doors ? Look through the
spyhole or windows to see who it is.

CHAIN - If you decide to open the door, put the chain or bar on first!

CHECK - If someone who looks official calls ask to see their identity card. Check the photograph and the signature, close the
door while you check keeping the chain on. If they don't have an identity card, do not let them in until you have checked and double checked that the caller is genuine.

Some callers may say they were working next door when they spotted a problem on your house, or they have come as arranged
with the Council to check the security of your house. Others that a relative has arranged for work to be done on your garden such as lopping off tree branches.

They may just ask for a drink of water or their rabbit has run into your garden. All sound very genuine and plausible.

If you have any doubts KEEP THEM OUT.

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