Earlier this week RBS and Lloyds launched new or modified funding for lending schemes in order to help small and medium-sized companies better access capital. These schemes take advantage of the Government's Funding for Lending program to provide cheap Government-backed loans to qualifying companies.
This points to a concerted economic effort to help small businesses access loans since Vince Cable announced that there are ongoing discussions about the new Government supported business investment bank's scale and scope and timing. At an SME event hosted by Make It Cheaper last week, Dr Cable hinted that the bank might follow the same model as Germany's KfW, which has been proven successful in achieving its goal. Dr Cable also suggested that the old-fashioned banking model is broken and companies in need of capital should look beyond the High Street because many lesser known banks such as Handelsbanken and Aldermore might be more small business friendly.
Other important government developments for the week include announcements of upcoming registrations aimed at cutting red tape and assisting innovation. New audit regulations will allow 36,000 more businesses to obtain audit exemption if they meet two out of three criteria relating to balance sheet total, turnover, and number of employees. Furthermore, a new innovation voucher scheme launching on 24 September, will help small businesses get access to expert opinion for the first time for a value up to £5,000 paid by the voucher for the business consultancy services.
The new 4G network will be launched by Everything Everywhere (rebranded as EE) before its competitors as per Ofgem's recent decision to grant the network roll-out permission. This will allow a third of the population to access the internet ten times faster than with their current connection, and it will provide the opportunity for businesses to become better at online marketing and more responsive to customer, partner, and supplier inquiries - even on the move. Presumably, however, companies will have to pay quite premium prices to access 4G because the exclusive roll-out permission makes EE a monopoly in the 4G digital market for the time being.
In the face of these developments, perhaps now more than ever it is important to keep up with small business related news since access to high-quality and timely information is a competitive advantage in the rapidly evolving small business market. Business owners are encouraged to keep an eye on our website as well as our Facebook and Twitter for the latest news and to continue to save more and more money with our services across a range of products for best practice business management and operating efficiency by calling Make It Cheaper on 0800 970 0077.
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