UK businesses are to receive £200m of government funding for ”innovative British firms” in light of ongoing Brexit negotiations.
The move was announced by exchequer secretary Robert Jenrick. He said ministers were determined to make the UK the best place in the world to start and grow a business. This type of funding has traditionally been sought by fast-growing firms in the science and technology sectors.
Kelly Tolhurst, business minister, said: “We are fully committed to supporting small businesses to succeed as part of our modern industrial strategy, while building the UK’s status as one of the best places to start and grow a small business.
“This funding, supported by the government-backed British Business Bank, will play a key role in supporting innovative firms to access the finance they need to grow and thrive.”
The funds will be provided through the British business Bank’s venture capital and growth finance funding partners.
Keith Morgan, chief executive officer of the British Business Bank, said: “We welcome HM Treasury’s confirmation today that this allocation of £200m is now available to increase provision of much-needed scale-up capital for innovative businesses across the UK. We look forward to putting the funding to good use through our delivery partners to enable such businesses to get the funding they need to grow and prosper.”
The British Business Bank currently supports more than £5.9bn of funding to 82,000 smaller businesses. Businesses that have benefited from this type of funding include artificial intelligence firm, Quantexa, and technology company, Improbable Worlds Limited.
Carl D’Ammassa, group managing director for Business Finance at Aldermore, said: “We welcome today’s decision by the Government to give much needed support to SMEs across the UK via the British Business Bank. The £200m pledged will enable investment in growth strategies and infrastructure. The more encouragement these businesses receive, the better for the health of our economy.”
The small business finance markets report by the British Business Bank (BBB) showed a decline in growth of SME lending with 36% of smaller businesses using external finance compared to 44% in 2012.