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THE PROMISE of billions in bank lending to bolster small businesses has been welcomed by leading specialist recruitment firm, ATA Selection.
Chancellor Alistair Darling announced the lending pledge, aimed at supporting small to medium sized enterprises, in his last Budget before the General Election.
Other steps included cuts in business taxes and the extension of an arrangement that enables struggling firms to spread their tax payments.
The boost, says ATA Managing Director, Andrew Hardaker, could allow SMEs to kickstart expansion so promoting growth across the whole economy.
We had noticed that SMEs in our specialist sectors including engineering and manufacturing were getting opportunities to pick up extra work, said Andrew.
But many were unable to expand because they could not obtain the credit required to fund the cash gap when beginning new projects and employing new people.
Now at least SMEs will have a better chance of getting that funding and so be able to take advantage of fresh leads.
Despite interest rates being at their lowest ever, at 0.5 per cent, many SMEs have been unable to secure finance or been shackled with payments at far higher rates than the base rate.
Before the Budget, business leaders had long championed the freeing up of credit to help push the economy forward.
During his speech the Chancellor maintained Lloyds and RBS had lent 38 billion to SMEs over the last 12 months.
He added that a further 94 billion was being committed over the coming year, nearly half of which would be targeted at smaller firms.
And he said fiercer competition on the high street as new banking licenses are awarded and Lloyds and RBS sell off 900 branches would also make it easier for small firms to gain access to credit.
This is all good news for SMEs, said Andrew. Hopefully firms will now be able to take on extra work and the extra staff needed to complete that work with essential financial backing in place.
If SMEs are seeing expansion and are in a position to employ more staff and make more profit then that is a boost for the wider economy.
ATA Selection specialises in the recruitment of technical and engineering personnel within the SME market and is a division ATA Recruitment.   ATA has more than four decades experience in recruitment within the general and manufacturing engineering market, rail, energy, technical sales and construction.


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