Lilian Greenwood MP is taking action to help local businesses, launching a survey to find out about their experiences in accessing finance amid concern over banks’ failure to lend on reasonable terms to small and medium sized businesses (SMEs).
While banks have cited a lack of demand for lending among businesses, the city MP is finding out whether this reflects the experiences of SMEs in Nottingham South.
The government’s Project Merlin agreement with the banks in February promised billions of pounds in increased lending to SMEs. However, the first set of quarterly Project Merlin lending statistics, published by the Bank of England recently, show that banks are failing to meet their target by £2.2 billion.
There are concerns that banks are not offering businesses finance on reasonable terms, putting off potential small businesses who might want to apply for loans and overdraft facilities.
The survey also aims to build up a picture of the pressures which businesses are currently facing in accessing finance. It is part of Labour’s Better Finance for Business campaign, gauging demand for business finance among SMEs across the UK and engaging with their concerns.
Commenting on Labour’s campaign for Better Finance for Business, Lilian Greenwood said:
“The government is not doing enough to get banks lending to SMEs, and I am concerned about the impact this is having on our local businesses in Nottingham that provide much needed jobs in our area.
“That’s why I am engaging with our local small businesses and listening to their concerns, experiences and views.
Labour’s Shadow Minister for Small Business & Enterprise, Chuka Umunna MP, said:
“Small and medium sized businesses are the lifeblood of the economy – we are looking to them to create the jobs and growth we need and this will only be possible if they can access finance.
“The government is failing to address both the immediate and more deep-rooted problems which SMEs are facing.
“The Better Finance for Business campaign is about listening to the concerns of business and making the case for a banking system more in tune with their needs and aspirations.”