Croydon business chairman calls for better access to finance for small firms
MORE access to finance is needed by small firms if they are not to lose further business confidence.
This is the view of Jeremy Frost, chairman of the 900-strong Croydon branch of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB).
The FSB has just published its latest quarterly survey of business confidence, which claims that banks have renewed their lending squeeze, with four out of 10 firms being refused credit.
The report also showed that confidence fell in 15 out of 17 industry sectors measured, including financial and real estate, retailing, leisure, hotels, restaurants and bars.
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Mr Frost said: "If small firms cannot access credit it constrains their investment plans. We know from past research that many small businesses missed growth opportunities because they couldn't access the money they needed."
He added: "There needs to be more competition in the finance and banking sector because only when there are more options to choose from will small firms get a fairer deal."
Mr Frost said he believed the ongoing credit squeeze was becoming critical.
He added: "The Government is relying on small business growth to drag the UK out of the recession.
"The will of small businesses to grow is there but the money to enable them to do so is not."