Business secretary Vince Cable launches £70m small firm lending scheme in Leicester

March 22, 2013 1:39 PM
By Ian Griffin in Leicester Mercury

Vince Cable was humiliated after his comments about ‘waging war’ on Murdoch emerged, but the scandal could restore his reputation. Photograph: Steve Parsons/PBusiness Secretary Vince Cable launched a £70 million scheme aimed at boosting lending to small firms during a speech in Leicester today.

Dr Cable was the keynote speaker at the Federation of Small Businesses' (FSB) national conference at Curve theatre in the city.

Three new lenders - Market Invoice, Urica and Beechbrook Capital - will share more than £30 million of Government funding to offer small firms alternatives to traditional bank lending.

Each lender has committed to attracting additional funding from private sector investors, with the total expected to boost the amount available to £70 million.

Dr Cable said: "A lack of access to finance is still choking off too many small businesses, preventing them from growing, taking on new staff or investing in new equipment."

About 800 business people from across the country are expected to attend the FSB conference.

The event, which is set to generate £2 million worth of revenue for the city, takes place at Curve and Athena today and tomorrow.

The two-day conference was today also due to feature speeches from Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Secretary Owen Paterson and Shadow Business Secretary Chuka Umunna.

Tomorrow, there will be a Question Time-style event chaired by financial journalist and broadcaster Naga Munchetty and featuring Jon Ashworth, MP for Leicester South; Nicky Morgan MP for Loughborough; Mike Cherry, the FSB UK policy chairman and Ian Griffin, Leicester Mercury business editor.