The best business advice, opinion, news and expertise in Greater Manchester and further afield.

Monday, 16 February 2009

Action for Business Update

by Chris Fletcher
Deputy Chief Exec.

We've recently been focusing our efforts on the banks and whether or not the flow of credit is still there for business or, as some are saying, it has been cut off. Our second Call for Action is to ensure that access to finance is maintained and that costs of finance are not disproportionately high in relation to Bank of England interest rates.

Despite the Government emphasizing that bank lending is crucial to kick start the economy the initial feedback we've received from businesses indicates that generally, banks are still lending to businesses. This seems to run contrary to what the Government are saying and what the press are reporting. But I don't think we've got to the root of the problem yet. We believe that bank lending is a problem and it is impacting on businesses. But in what way? Which businesses are affected? Are the problems with accessing new finance or changes to existing finance arrangements? This month we will feature a series of banking questions in our Quarterly Economic Survey which will hopefully shed more light on the problems businesses are having.

The Government has announced a loan guarantee programme of over £10billion. We look forward to the finer details of the scheme being announced and will work to ensure that it is implemented efficiently and effectively.

In the meantime, we would welcome your feedback if you've had any problems accessing finance. Email your comments to

View our Action for Business document here

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