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HeatFED Welcomes SME and Micro Business Funding Boost
7th October 2012
The Heating Engineers and Allied Trades Federation (HeatFED) has welcomed the recent announcement by the Department for Business Innovation and Skills that £60m worth of funding has been made available for not only small to medium size enterprises, but also to micro businesses to protect jobs and fund investment and growth.
The funding was announced by Business Secretary Vince Cable, as he announced a £60 million pot of Regional Growth Fund investment and bank finance at the Community Development Finance Association's (CDFA) annual conference. The CDFA will receive £30 million from the Government's Regional Growth Fund (RGF) which has been matched with a further £30 million by the Co-operative Bank and Unity Trust Bank to provide lending to small, micro and social enterprises.
The funding is expected to create or safeguard over 8,000 jobs over six years across the country and meet some of the growing demand from small businesses for access to finance and drive investment in often fragmented communities. To see how future projects will be supported through RGF, Vince Cable visited Utensa, a bakeware firm in Tyseley, Birmingham which has already received a loan from the Aston Reinvestment Trust (ART) - a Community Development Finance Institution (CDFI) and member of the CDFA.
The £30,000 loan has helped Utensa develop its manufacturing facility to improve its competitiveness with the Far East as well as safeguarding jobs for the future and creating jobs for two new machine operators at the company. The visit was followed by Vince Cable giving the keynote speech at the CDFA's annual conference in Solihull where the Business Secretary set out the important role that CDFIs have in providing credit to under-served markets.
Speaking at the conference, Business Secretary Vince Cable said, "We need effective channels to support small business which is why the CDFA and its members are so important for providing access to finance and kick starting the economy. They are best placed to ensure that the £60 million goes to those SMEs, such as Utensa in Birmingham, that will create jobs and unlock private investment.
"Regional Growth Fund programmes like this one have already awarded SMEs over 500 grants and loans across the country. This is an excellent way to get value for money, but more importantly, it is a good way to focus on local priorities for growth, as most programmes are led by local partners. RGF is leading the way in rebalancing the economy and boosting business and industry."