Low Loan Approvals Rates for SME's Must be Addressed - Flanagan
Sinn Féin Enterprise Spokesperson, Phil Flanagan (Fermanagh & South Tyrone) has expressed his disappointment at the massive reduction in loan approvals by local banks to Small and Medium Sized Enterprises. The success rate of SME’s applying for bank loans has fallen by 27% between 2007 and 2010, according to the most recent figures released by NISRA.
Mr Flanagan said:
“This massive drop in the approval rate confirms what we as elected representatives hear on a daily basis.
“Despite billions of pounds in taxpayers money being poured into the banks, they are still unwilling to provide the necessary assistance local local businesses require in their time of need. Nobody, even in a solid economic climate expects banks to fund unviable business plans but at present even loan proposals backed by sound business plans are being rejected by the banks.
“In our proposals last year designed to ease the pressure on small business as a result of the British governments £4billion cut in our block grant, Sinn Féin as one of a number of measures proposed the establishment of a Sustainable Economic Development Bond, with each of the four local banks contributing £25 million annually as their contribution to the economic recovery process. I believe that the Executive should now take a collective look at how this could be brought about so that funding would again be available to SME's and other indigenous enterprises.
"Such a fund, administered through the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment should be designed to revive and grow our economy by encouraging an entrepeneurial spirit with a major focus on investing in SME’s, social enterprises, new technologies, tourism and manufacturing designed for export." CRÍOCH