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December 5, 2012 3:23 pm
Excitement about the significant increase in the investment allowances, greater support for exporters and cuts to corporation tax were tempered for several small business owners by the reality that many of those offers are so hard to access.
Sam Cook, president of the Entrepreneurs’ Organisation, and a business owner, said many of the companies in the body he represents did not have the time and support required to access the funding schemes outlined by the chancellor.
“I like the idea of a £1bn business bank but it is very difficult for small businesses to find the resources to find out how to get access to this money,” he said. “We need to be focused on driving our businesses forward.”
That sentiment was reflected by other company owners.
Jason Yeomans, managing director of PMGC Technology Group, a fast-growing tech company, said: “My experience so far of these types of schemes is that whilst they operate with good intentions the people who are put in place to run them are often from an institutional investment background which means that their attitude to risk is somewhat different to that of an entrepreneur, meaning it can be hard to secure approval for funding.”
Alexandre Wentzo, chief executive of Casewise, a mid-size software business with aspirations to grow, noted that the requirements of keeping a business going in a difficult economy made raising finance harder.
”Businesses like Casewise are trying to meet market requirements by cutting costs in order to maintain profitability,” he explained. “But by doing so, they are killing any long-term prospect of growth.”
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