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The ART lending team has been particularly busy over the past couple of months attending the growing number of events targeted at small businesses, their professional advisers, public sector supporters, colleges and universities. These have been organised by a wide range of parties, including the local media. It’s good to know that so many people are putting their creative thinking into how to give small businesses a helping hand and get the economy moving. But do those for whom all this effort is being made even know it is happening? Attendance at some of the events, especially from the small businesses themselves, has been low.
We have continued to be amazed by the widespread lack of basic knowledge about what is available to support access to finance for small businesses. Is the small business community too busy ‘at the coal face’ in these challenging times to keep abreast of what is happening in the outside world, or are there just too many places to look for the latest information? Against this backdrop we welcome the launch of an excellent new website called Business Finance For You. It has a host of national sponsors, including the Government in the form of BIS, the banking sector, a wide range of lending sources and the Chartered Institute of Accountants. It is user-friendly and accurate in terms of representing the wide range of financial support on offer. So no matter how busy small businesses, their advisers and supporters become, this should ease the path towards accessing the most appropriate finance for their purposes. It’s worth taking a look – you might be surprised.