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Small business support package published


David Cameron’s new Enterprise Adviser, Lord Young, is to write a ‘brutally honest’ report examining how Government departments interact with and affect small businesses.


The Prime Minister has charged the former trade and industry secretary with finding new ways of encouraging business start-ups, reducing burdens, maximising procurement opportunities and engaging with small businesses.


The appointment came as the Government announced a range of measures aimed at making it easier for small firms to prosper.


To ensure small businesses can maximise opportunities through the wider public sector, the Government aims to award a quarter of Government contracts to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).


Francis Maude, the Cabinet Office minister, also said the central Government policy of paying 80% of SME supplier invoices with five working days would be retained.


Meanwhile, the Business Secretary Vince Cable and the Chancellor George Osborne, have confirmed that the Enterprise Finance Guarantee will continue over the next four years.


In addition, the Government is to commit a further £200m to Enterprise Capital Funds supporting equity investments in the highest growth potential businesses over four years.


To encourage private investments, there was a welcome for the joint bid of business angels and the Government's SME investment arm, Capital for Enterprise, for a co-investment fund as part of the Regional Growth Fund to support angel investments into high growth potential early stage SMEs.


The Government will also work with banks on several areas launched in their response to the green paper, the Business Finance Taskforce. This includes the £1.5 billion Business Growth Fund, mentoring and a new lending code.