BFP helps to boost business lending by approx £70m
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An estimated £70 million boost to business lending through alternative means has been achieved through a £30 million injection of funds from the Business Finance Partnership.


The BFP is a government-run scheme to help increase the availability of lending to small businesses, and the £30 million just announced by the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills is expected to be boosted by a further £40 million in privately raised investment funding.


A total of three new lenders have been given a share in the £30 million, including Beechbrook Capital, URICA and Market Invoice.


Beechbrook, a mezzanine fund manager, receives £17 million to put towards a growth capital fund for SMEs.


URICA is granted £10 million to help establish a consistent stream of finance from investors to SMEs’ suppliers, allowing bills to be paid sooner to mid-sized growth firms.


And Market Invoice’s £5 million will go towards its online platform, which allows trading in individual invoices by small businesses with cash flow problems.


Business secretary Vince Cable says: “A lack of access to finance is still choking off too many businesses, preventing them from growing, taking on new staff or investing in new equipment.”


In a speech to the Federation of Small Businesses, he added that the measures announced in the 2013 Budget will have an immediate impact on the availability of lending to growth firms.


Among the measures outlined as part of the Business Bank initiative were £75 million in early-stage investment, and a £300 million scheme due to launch this spring to supplement private investment funds.

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