Private Sector Recovery on Cards for Small Business Forum
In the wake of the publication of the Banking Taskforce last week, which defined a set of criteria designed to help businesses located in offices and factories throughout the UK thrive and grow, Business Secretary Vince Cable and Small Business Minister Mark Prisk met with business representatives at the first coming together of the Small Business Economic Forum.
Chaired by Mr Prisk the forum is scheduled to meet up to four times a year and provide an interactive platform from which business representatives and small business leaders can air-and-share their views on enterprise issues, particularly with regard to the economic problems they continue to face.
In this first meeting of the forum, to which members of the under-fire banking community were invited, the discussion focused on the ΓÇ£Financing a Private Sector RecoveryΓÇ¥ paper published by the coalition government and the finding of the Banking Taskforce.
ΓÇ£To create the environment for businesses to flourish and boost economic growth Government must keep an open dialogue with industry. The Small Business Economic Forum is an excellent way to do that.ΓÇ¥ explained Mr Cable before highlighting the importance of the Banks in the process.
ΓÇ£It is also critical that banks are in attendance. The availability of credit on reasonable terms is absolutely crucial to recovery. So far there is much frustration over banksΓÇÖ behaviour and this was a good opportunity to hear the views of business on bank lending and banksΓÇÖ proposals for improving the flow of finance.ΓÇ¥
The language used by the Business Secretary toward the banking community clearly remains blunt, but not as out-rightly confrontational as in recent months when he suggested action could be taken against banks who failed to lend to businesses having been bailed out by the UK tax payer.
Indeed it was this stance by Mr Cable that appeared to prompt the formation of the Banking Taskforce, whose 17 action points agreed upon last week were subsequently summarised into three primary areas:
1. Improving customer relationships.
2. Ensuring better access to finance.
3. Providing better information and promoting understanding.
ΓÇ£Having started my own business I understand the importance of a working relationship with your bank.ΓÇ¥ explained Small Business Minister Mark Prisk.
ΓÇ£In chairing the Small Business Economic Forum I want to ensure that the relationship between businesses and banks is improved and that small businesses are able to access the vital funding they need.ΓÇ¥
While Mr Prisk remains keen on improving the relationship between banks and businesses, his support for other business initiatives prior to the election however was far less assured, when he announced his intention to axe the tax payer funded Business Link ΓÇô branding it a ΓÇ£failingΓÇ¥ service despite evidence of support.
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