Eventia welcomes government 'business bank' scheme

Eventia chairman Simon Hughes is encouraging the industry to consider using business secretary Vince Cable's new 'business bank'.

Eventia chairman Simon Hughes
Eventia chairman Simon Hughes

The first stage of the scheme, which has set aside £300m for small businesses struggling to access finance, was launched today (10 April).

This money is the first deployment from the £1bn of capital allocated to the business bank in the 2012 Autumn Statement.

Hughes said that any boost to SMEs is welcome, but added that making the cash accessible for businesses is critical. "A regular complaint from event companies is that they don't have access to funds, so this is a possible solution to that problem. Around 80% of loans are usually looked after by the big four [banks] and any alternative access is good," he commented.

Awareness, meanwhile, was listed as one of the biggest obstacles for the event industry.

Head of policy at the Forum of Private Business Alex Jackman, however, reassured businesse that, potentially, some of this money can go out the door very quickly if proper proposals are submitted. 

"There’s no doubt  the money is desperately needed in the economy right now, so we urge the government to get the cash out to where it’s needed most, by working with organisations to ensure bids are successful. We certainly don’t want to be seeing any of this money sitting untouched come February next year," he added.


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