1st December 2011
Written Answer from the Minister of Enterprise, Trade and Investment
Mr Patsy McGlone (Mid Ulster):
To ask the Minister of Enterprise, Trade and Investment what discussions her
Department has had with the banks in relation to the small and medium
enterprises loan fund, set out in the Economic Strategy, to aid liquidity
and to ensure that finance is available to help growth.
Minister of Enterprise, Trade and Investment: Access to finance is
recognised as a key issue which cuts across a number of areas in the draft
Economic Strategy. DETI, through Invest NI, continues to develop and
implement an Access to Capital Strategy which supports the availability of
capital within the local SME market. An important element of the strategy is
the establishment of a £50m Growth Loan Fund which will help viable small
and medium sized businesses in the manufacturing and tradable services
sectors with growth ambitions.
purpose of the loan fund is to provide additional funding to SMEs to enable
them to achieve their growth objectives. It will address a gap in the market
for access to finance by complementing existing sources of finance,
including bank finance, venture capital and private equity finance.
commissioned ASM Horwath to carry out an economic appraisal to determine the
preferred option for implementing the Growth Loan Fund, and to assess value
for money. Invest NI has had regular contact with the banks in relation to
this fund, both before the appraisal was conducted and following approval of
the fund. ASM Horwath also consulted with the banks during the appraisal