Conservative message on financing SMEs is getting through

02-May-2013 @ 16:00

Anthea McIntyre Anthea McIntyre

Anthea McIntyre Anthea McIntyre

Anthea McIntyre Anthea McIntyre

Anthea McIntyre MEP today welcomed a "useful step forward" in her drive to get better access to finance for small businesses. 

The Conservative MEP for the West Midlands was speaking after the European Commission and European Investment Bank (EIB) jointly published a report on ways to tackle the problem. (Commission press release: http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-13-387_en.htm?locale=en)

The paper closely mirrors key elements of a report which Miss McIntyre herself drafted and saw through the European Parliament. Adopted in November, her report highlighted what she believes is a major barrier to growth and job-creation.

Today´s report unveiled a "new generation" of financial instruments for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Financial resources for SMEs will be significantly enhanced through a €10 billion increase in the EIB’s capital.

European Commission Vice President Antonio Tajani, responsible for enterprise and industry policy, also today also launched a new single online portal on all EU financial instruments for SMEs as well an information guide to promote SME stock listings.

The opportunities for "one-stop shops" and online portals to to make investment funding more-easily available to SMEs formed a major platform of the McIntyre report. It said: "Developing e-government and one stop shops could permit SMEs to spend less time on administrative procedures and gain new business opportunities...Access to procurement markets can assist SMEs to unlock their potential for job creation and growth."

As Conservative employment spokesman in the Parliament, Miss McIntyre has consistently pressed for moves to open up better access to loans for SMEs.  She fears that as funding for business development has dried up in the downturn, SMEs have suffered the most and have effectively been stifled when they should be the foremost driver for growth and job-creation.

Today she said "I am convinced that if they are given open, easily-understood and fair access to finance, SMEs can be the key to kick-starting recovery.  But this will take political will, and that is why I have been shouting about this issue long and loud.

"The fact that the commission and the EIB seem to be taking notice looks encouraging. There is still a long way to go to turn these promises into reality, but this is a very useful step forward.

"It is a prime example of what the EU should be doing to add value and help business, instead of creating evermore legislation and red tape to stifle enterprise."

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