To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the report entitled, The state of the nation: The UK Family Business Sector 2018-19 by Oxford Economics, published in July 2019, what steps his Department is taking to make it easier for family businesses to access external finance.
16 July 2019
As the report notes, the family business sector is vital to the UK economy, employing over 13 million people and generating more than a quarter of the nation’s GDP. In May this year, I attended the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Family Business and discussed a range of issues including access to external finance. The authors of the Report, The Institute for Family Business, are also a member of the BEIS SME Advisory Board, who last met on 24 June.
As part of the modern Industrial Strategy, this Department’s aim is to improve access to finance for all UK businesses, including family-owned businesses. The Government-backed British Business Bank supports more than £6.4bn of finance to over 85,000 SMEs. The Bank’s online Finance Hub also helps small business owners identify potential sources of finance via the finance finder web tool.
The Business Bank has also established a UK Network, with team members based within each of the English regions and the three Devolved Nations. The UK Network works with small business finance intermediaries to enhance business finance ecosystems across the UK, so smaller businesses, wherever they are, can grow and prosper.
In addition, Government has actively supported and invested in the creation of 38 Growth Hubs (one in each Local Enterprise Partnership area), providing businesses across England support and advice via a free and impartial, local single point of contact. At the end of FY18/19, Government had invested £56.4 million in Growth Hubs.
The Government provides support and advice to all types of businesses through our core services including GOV.UK, the Business Support Helpline and Growth Hubs operating in England.