Brown extends help to small companies
Chancellor Gordon Brown has announced plans to privatise the operation of the Small Firms Loan Guarantees Scheme, with the maximum advance being increased from £100,000 to £250,000.
Brown said the scheme will be administered by an independent company at arms length from the government.
The new loan ceiling will apply to firms less than three years old with turnovers less than £5.6m.
Brown said that based on a successful US model, he is also piloting enterprise capital funds that could invest up to £2m in small businesses.
He said the scheme will help twice as many companies and claimed in the Commons that ‘the range of support available to small businesses starting up is greater than at any time in our history’.
He said the loan administration company would make independent decisions ‘free of interference from the Department of Trade and Industry’.