BERR is completely focused on getting UK business through the global economic downturn and emerging stronger on the other side.
Our Action for Business programme is focused on helping UK business overcome current financial and economic challenges so it is stronger when the upturn does arrive. We are exploring innovative solutions to the problems and issues faced by businesses, while building on existing BERR policy initiatives. We want to build on existing relationships across government departments and the regions so we foster both closer working and new partnerships.
On 17 December 2008 in a speech at the Royal Society of Arts the Secretary of State outlined his vision for industrial activism and industrial policy in the UK, and inviting business to join with him in a debate on the priorities for the way forward.
On 27 January 2009 the Government announced a package of measures aimed at freeing up lending of more than £2bn for the automotive industry.
The elements of support that have been announced:
• Guarantees to unlock loans of up to £1.3bn European Investment Bank (EIB) guarantees for investment in lower carbon initiatives
• Loans or loan guarantees to support of up to £1bn of lending for lower carbon initiatives for non-EIB backed projects
• Increased funding for training of employees under ‘Train to Gain’
• Mervyn Davies, the new Trade and Investment Minister, tasked to draw up a plan for improving access to finance for
manufacturers’ finance arms.
Further information on this can be found here
We are taking decisive action for small businesses. Following the Government’s announcement in the November 2008 pre budget report, a package of support to address the cash flow, credit and capital needs of small businesses has been launched under the Real Help for Businesses Now campaign.
Real Help With Finance is a package of financial measures that will help enable banks to continue or resume lending to viable small and medium sized business (SMEs) during the current economic downturn.
The Government has put together a package of measures designed to address the cash flow, credit and investment needs of small and medium businesses. The support package, which builds upon the commitments outlined in November’s Pre Budget Report, consists of loan guarantees and a new Enterprise Fund aimed at helping companies struggling to access finance for working capital and investment.
The Government measures include:
In order to help businesses identify their financial needs, the Government is has launched a new “one stop shop” easy-to-use web portal. The portal, on the businesslink.gov website, will direct companies to the most appropriate form of support and help them ascertain their eligibility for a range of government support.
In addition to the real help with finance set out above, we've also helped small businesses:
We are also helping businesses more easily find government funded support by streamlining over 3000 schemes into 30 by March 2009. All of these schemes will be accessible via Business Link.
And we are looking at ways to help business to prepare for the upswing over the medium to longer term.
Our aims include: