Business secretary Vince Cable has launched a £60m pot of Regional Growth Fund investment and bank finance at the Community Development Finance Association’s (CDFA) annual conference.
The Heating Engineers and Allied Trades Federation welcomed the announcement made by the Department for Business Innovation and Skills that the funding has been made available for not only small to medium-sized enterprises but also micro businesses to protect jobs and fund investment and growth of same.
The CDFA will receive £30m from the government’s Regional Growth Fund (RGF) which has been matched with a further £30m 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.
Speaking at the CDFA conference, Mr 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 £60m 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.”