Birmingham LEP proposes expanding business loan fund

A paper published this morning by the business and council-led enterprise body covering the greater Birmingham area proposes expanding a business loans initiative to cover the whole of the city-region.

The Greater Birmingham & Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) paper proposes expanding the £10 million Finance Birmingham initiative, which aims to provide small- and medium-sized enterprises in Birmingham with access to affordable credit, to cover the whole LEP area.

The proposal is contained within the LEP’s growth strategy, which outlines a series of measures that it says would drive economic growth in the sub-region.

Other proposals in the strategy include developing a central business support service covering the LEP area and producing a skills plan that would match education provision with the needs of businesses.

The proposals in the paper are subject of consultation, with the closing date for comments set for 16 November.

Steve Hollis, deputy chair of the Birmingham & Solihull LEP, said: “We know we don’t have all the answers yet, and in the current climate of uncertainty we appreciate that the economic imperatives which drive us may evolve.

“However, there is a need to set out key priorities for long-term change and for short-term action and to examine the enablers that are going to get us there.”

A copy of the Strategy for Growth can be obtained from gbslep@birmingham.gov.uk

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