If you are a small business owner or entrepreneur you might be asking yourself what the government is doing to help you obtain financing and to make the best use of it. The answer turns out to be quite a lot.
When seeking information on properly financing your business, the government is the last place you’d think to look. The UK, however, has set up a website at http://www.improve.businesslink.gov.uk/finance to provide exactly that information. It is a surprisingly savvy and well designed website, and has a great deal of useful information.
Another way they are helping small businesses is by passing legislation that intervenes in the financial markets to make it easier for British businesses to obtain financing. Current programs include Enterprise Finance Guarantee, Enterprise Capital Funds, and the National Loan Guarantee Scheme. All of these programs are designed to improve small business access to financing.
Enterprise Finance Guarantee (EFG)
The EFG is a program available to SMEs with an annual turnover under £41 million seeking loans between £1000 and £1 million to be repaid between three months and 10 years. Loans will be delivered by accredited lenders (there are currently more than 45 accredited lenders) and guaranteed to 75%.
Enterprise Capital Funds (ECFs)
Because of the high cost of performing due diligence in young, smaller companies, many beginning businesses struggle to obtain equity finance. ECFs are a means to closing the equity gap by combining private sector investment with government funds to provide equity financing to smaller companies.
National Loan Guarantee Scheme (NLGS)
The NLGS is a scheme that allows participating banks to raise up to £21 billion in government guaranteed funding. These banks will be required to lend at significantly lower rates to qualifying business customers.
These are just three of the many pieces of legislation the government has passed in recent years to ensure that small businesses have the access to financing they need to be successful and compete on a global stage.
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