Tuesday, 25 September 2012

‘Give us something we can use!’

Angel asks: Will business bank work for microbusinesses?

Samantha Acton, Domestic Angels
The owner of a Dorset micro business who challenged Vince Cable to work in the interests of micro businesses has warned the business secretary that his new ‘business bank’ may not be of much use to Britain’s smallest businesses.

Dr Cable has announced £1 billion of government money to fund a new bank with a clean slate to “get behind” good businesses and be lending money within 18 months. He hopes the state funding will be matched by private sector investment.

But micro business champion Samantha Acton of Southbourne-based Domestic Angels home help service says he has missed the point.

“Micro businesses that employ fewer than five people make up 95 per cent of Dorset businesses and we are distinct from SMEs, with our own problems, concerns and difficulties,” she says.

“My main concern is that the plan is to lend to SMEs, but will this include microbusinesses? We are a nation of shopkeepers and micro businesses are big business, but don’t necessarily fall into the SME definition.

“All I’m asking for is something that’s of genuine use to the smallest businesses. The last thing any of us needs is to increase our debt burden with new bank loans – no matter how easy they are to get,” she adds.

“If Vince Cable really wants to help the majority of Dorset businesses it would be far more useful to increase the VAT threshold and take a more imaginative, real-world attitude to the National Minimum Wage.

“He says we must get behind successful British-based firms in vehicles, aerospace, life sciences and the creative industries, as well as our world-class scientists and universities, but none of these sound like micro businesses.”

As published on seekernews.co.uk

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