Help for SMEs should be “more accessible” – ICAEW chief

by Calum Fuller

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10 Sep 2012

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HELP FOR SMEs should be more easily accessible and grouped under the umbrella of one organisation, according to ICAEW chief executive Michael Izza.

As things stand, applying for funding for activities such as employing young people, starting your own business, cheap loans, and export support must be done through various different bodies.

But a state-sponsored small business bank announced by George Osborne last week provides an opportunity to unite those services under one roof, Izza said in a blog.

"We rather hope that in future these [SME assistance] may all be accessible in one place, from one body," said Izza.

Currently, government departments including Job Centre Plus, UK Export Finance, the Treasury and Business Finance Partnership provide financial assistance to startups.

In July, it was reported that a third of SMEs were failing to take advantage of tax breaks available to them, with the same proportion unaware of tax breaks potentially beneficial to them.

Banks similar to the one proposed already operate in Germany, the US and Ireland, while greater detail on the government's proposal is expected later in the autumn.

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