“The most terrifying words in the English language are: I'm from the government and I'm here to help.” Ronald Reagan
Most political parties are on record with their complete support for SMEs and the government continues its quest of doing more [for SMEs] – but do they all actually know who they [SMEs] are, what they do and what they need?
Let’s look at some confusing facts. I have looked at a well-meaning leaflet published by the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills titled “SME Access to Finance Schemes”. Looking through the leaflet I found a tsunami of schemes and it seems you may need a post graduate degree to work your way through:
Obtaining loans - Funding for Lending, National Loan Guarantee, Community Development Finance, Enterprise Finance Guarantee, Business Finance Partnership, Business Finance Partnership, Small Business Tranche, Start-up Loans
Obtaining investment - Seed Enterprise Investment, Enterprise Investment, Venture Capital Trust, Business Angel Co-Investment Fund, Enterprise Capital Fund Programme, UK Innovation Investment Fund
At the start of 2014 5.2 million SMEs accounted for 48% of private sector employment and the combined turnover of SMEs was £1.2 trillion. So clearly this is an important market and perhaps simpler support may be a better way to assist all the hardworking owners of SMEs.
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AIMS Accountants for Business are the largest independent association of professionally qualified accountants in the UK specialising in accountancy for small, local and independent businesses. AIMS are no ordinary accountants and we are more than just number crunchers!