Small Business Credit Adjudicator task force launched
A new task
force to advise the Government on how to ensure small companies are
treated fairly and properly when accessing bank finance was today
launched by the Department for Business.
Enterprise Champion Lord Sugar, outgoing Federation of Small
Business chairman John Wright and former Lloyd’s TSB deputy chief
executive Mike Fairey will comprise the task force. They will build
on the work Lord Sugar has been doing with small businesses,
Business Link’s Financial Intermediary Service (FIS) and the banks.
The task force will advise the Government on the role and
responsibilities of the Small Business Credit Adjudicator (SBCA)
announced in the Budget. Once established the SBCA will hear cases,
referred by FIS, where a business may have been unfairly denied
credit. The task force will also hear recommendations on the
background, experience and skills to be considered when recruiting
the independent SBCA, who will be experienced in banking and
Business Secretary Lord Mandelson said:- “Lord Sugar, Mike
Fairey and John Wright have decades of experience in banking,
business and enterprise. They understand the critical importance of
new finance and credit flow to the growth of small, innovative
companies. This Government has worked tirelessly to help small
businesses access the finance they need. However there is a
perception among small business owners that banks are unfairly
denying them credit. This task force will help us understand the
root of these concerns.”
The task force will meet bank and small businesses to discuss
financing and credit issues to establish the responsibilities of the
SBCA. It will produce a consultation document to be published in the
summer, which will advise on options to establish the SBCA.
The consultation will consider potential powers and sanctions for
the SBCA. Options will include powers to demand bank information and
penalties such as naming and shaming banks found to have denied
The SBCA will work in conjunction with Business Link’s Financial
Intermediary Service. The FIS offers free and independent advice to
viable business struggling to gain access to finance. It facilitates
discussion between the bank and the business if FIS believes the
bank’s decision should be re-considered.
Once the SBCA has been established FIS will be able to refer such
cases to the Credit Adjudicator if they believe the business has
been treated unfairly.
Government lending and survey data shows that the majority of the
UK’s Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) who require finance are
able to access it, and currently at prices lower than two years ago.
Around three quarters of small businesses obtain finance from their
first source, consistent with approval rates for loans and
overdrafts in excess of 75%.
However the perception of a shortage of credit for small businesses
remains in place and there have been small but important cases where
viable businesses have been turned down. The Small Business Credit
Adjudicator aims to address that issue.
The Government has put in place a number of significant measures to
ensure that SMEs – the lifeblood of British business – have the
support they need to grow. Real help offered to businesses through
the difficult economic period include the Enterprise Finance
Guarantee, the ‘Time to Pay’ tax deferral scheme and
free Business Link Health Checks.
The Department for Business welcomes views from interested parties.
Before the consultation round suggestions and information can be
WITNESS APPEAL - ARMED ROBBERY
Police are appealing for witnesses following an armed robbery at the
Albany Hotel pub on Ruskin Street in Kirkdale at around 1am on 6
Tuesday, April 2010.
The licensee was in
the lounge of the pub with his wife and a friend when three masked
men, one of whom is thought to have had a gun, gained entry to the
premises and forced him to open the safe, stealing a quantity of
cash. The licensee sustained a head injury during the incident and
was taken to the Royal Liverpool University Hospital for treatment
and remains in a stable condition in hospital. He and his wife have
been running the pub for 12 years and are well-known and liked in
the local area. The offenders knew the licensee by name.
information in relation to this incident is asked to call detectives
on:- 0151 777 4811 or contact Crimestoppers, anonymously, on:- 0800
announces £3.4m for the Museum of Liverpool
European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) Programme is pleased to
announce £3.4 million of funding to support the creation of four
exciting exhibition spaces at the new Museum of Liverpool.
The investment will support the fit-out of the museum’s four
galleries as well as the interpretation and exhibits that will fill
the space. It will enable the museum to explore the extraordinary
and complex story of Liverpool within the context of the wider
region as well as the big national and international themes that
have shaped this and other British cities.
The Museum of Liverpool, due to open next year on Liverpool’s
historic waterfront, will be one of the world’s most spectacular
city history museums. The construction of the building has already
received £5 million from the Northwest European Regional Development
Fund. This new money will help ensure that the contents of the
museum are as spectacular as its exterior.
Councillor Flo Clucas, member of the Northwest ERDF Programme
Monitoring Committee (PMC), said:- “The new museum of
Liverpool is architecturally striking and will be one of the
region’s flagship cultural attractions. This investment will ensure
that the museum is able to deliver a world-class visitor experience
that will set it, and the Northwest, apart from our competitors.”
The museum will focus on four main themes: Port City, Creative City,
People’s City and Global City.
David Fleming, Director, National Museums Liverpool, said:-
"The museum already looks spectacular from the outside. Now we are
planning to make the inside breathtaking too. We are delighted to
receive this funding which will go towards the internal fit-out.
There will be 8,000 square metres of public space across three
floors and visitors will have access to more than 6000 objects. In
each of the four massive galleries visitors will be able explore and
immerse themselves in every aspect of Liverpool life. We want to
attract more than 750,000 visitors a year and give the city a museum
to be proud of.”
The £72m Museum of Liverpool is the largest newly-built national
museum in Britain for over a century. It is set to open in 2011.
PROTECT YOUR COMPANY’S BOTTOM LINE BY GOING GREEN
Northwest is urging companies in Merseyside to go green to save
money and help to protect the environment, during national Green
Green Office Week, which runs from 26 April to 30 April 2010, aims
to raise awareness of the importance and benefits of being more
environmentally aware in the workplace.
Steve Wood, a Business Link Northwest energy and environmental
adviser who works with companies in Merseyside, said there are many
advantages of improving resource efficiency for companies.
Steve Wood said:- “Being efficient with your use of resources
and materials is a key driver of profitability, as well as helping
you to run your business in an environmentally friendly way, which
we all have a responsibility to do. The first step to improving your
green credentials is to work out your current resource use and to
identify any areas for improvement. Environmental assessment is
crucial to securing the benefits that increased sustainability
offers. Making sure that you don’t waste energy, water and other
resources, as well as common workplace items, such as paper, will
help to protect your bottom line. Businesses should also look at how
they can reduce the amount of waste they produce and encourage their
staff to reduce the environmental impact of their travel to and from
work by car sharing or using public transport. Putting in place
simple measures like recycling, using low energy bulbs and switching
off computers when they are not in use is a great starting point to
help you reduce your carbon footprint from today.”
Encouragingly, an increasing number of businesses across the North
West are seeking guidance through the Business Link website on how
they can go green. From January to February 2010 the number of views
to the environment and efficiency pages of the Business Link
Northwest website increased by 97 per cent.
For practical information on how your company can go green, go to:-
For more information call Business Link Northwest on:- 0845 00 66