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The first phase of the Business Bank is unveiled

The Business Secretary Vince Cable has announced details for the first phase of the Business Bank, which aims to inject much-needed funding into small and medium-sized British businesses.

The Government’s Business Bank will invest £45m in specialist SME lenders; £30m into Praesidian Capital Europe and £15m into BMS Finance, bringing the total lending available to businesses to around £125m. Cable commented that the Business Bank is stepping in and ‘plugging the gap that the banks have created because of the decline in bank lending to SMEs.’

Cable spoke at the launch of Business is GREAT Britain, a Department for Business, Innovation and Skills’ (BIS) campaign that further helps to ensure businesses are supported.

In partnership with successful small businesses, the campaign will bring together Government advice for SMEs onto one umbrella website.

Cable also announced a new £1m Sector Mentoring Challenge fund, which aims to help business get information and advice from others in their own sector, and a £10m synthetic biology start-up fund to help scientists in that area to get their businesses started.

The Minister for Skills and Enterprise, Matthew Hancock, commented that ‘Government has an important role in producing a coherent package of measures to support businesses’, and Vince Cable believes that this role has been met, saying ‘we [the Government] have set out a comprehensive package of measures that will address the concerns of small businesses’.