In September last year, the government promised big things for small businesses. With the arrival of the 2014 Autumn Statement came the news that more support than ever will be directed to SMEs – but are you aware of what’s already available to you, right now? There’s one tool that could reveal a wealth of resources that your small or medium business may be missing out on.
What’s coming in the future for SMEs?
It’s clear that now, more than ever, that government attention is being turned towards SMEs to encourage an economy in the UK that is supportive of ‘in-house’ business.
To recap what was announced in the Autumn Statement, the Treasury have planned for SMEs to receive a large financial package in 2015 – made up of a £400m pledge for Enterprise Capital Funds and a £500m pledge to guarantee new bank lending for small businesses.
What’s more, knowledge of this official support from the government, the British Business Bank and other large institutions has been cemented with their continued support of Small Business Saturday – and the 2015 Small Business Saturday plans are now being finalised with 2014 providing an incredible 20% increase on retail footfall alone.
What can you get your hands on right now?
There’s no need to wait if you’re after a helping hand for your small business. The government has a nifty online tool that is incredibly easy to use to find out what your specific business can benefit from in the local area. Technically it’s aimed at all businesses, not just SMEs, however with a lot of resources aimed at start-ups or local advice, it’s definitely a valuable place to start for businesses with less than 250 workers.
This tool covers finance, equity, grants, loans, expertise or advice and recognition awards. It works by finding out where your business is based (using your postcode – make sure to hit ‘enter’ after typing this in so it registers), as well as the size of your business (number of employees) and the sector or field of your SME.
Here’s what we found when we pretended we were a retail business of 20 employees, looking to grow (using the Prime Minister’s postcode at 10 Downing Street):
With over 633 schemes uploaded into the system, there’s bound to be something to suit your business and ensure your 2015 is successful. This tool goes to show that you may be entitled to much more support and help than you initially thought.