Small businesses set out their Brexit demands, including strengthening of the British Business Bank

 
William Turvill
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The UK voted to leave the European Union on 23 June 2016 (Source: Getty)

Small businesses will need the British Business Bank (BBB) to step up and replicate European counterparts after Brexit, a new report says today.

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) wants the BBB to be given extra resources to promote access for small firms and replace the functions of the European Investment Bank and European Investment Fund.

Read more: Cover your eyes, small firms: Your employment costs could go up by £2,600

The FSB also today warned that EU passporting rights for UK private equity and venture capital firms “must remain in place as part of a post-Brexit transitional arrangement to protect small firms from an access to finance cliff edge”.

“European investment in finance markets has been a crucial lifeline for small firms across the UK,” said FSB national chairman Mike Cherry.

“Both the EIB and EIF have helped develop commercial expertise and improved access to finance in less economically developed regions of the country.

Read more: The fall in funding via the Enterprise Investment Scheme matters to us all

EIF funds are particularly important for firms aspiring to grow, assisting firms looking to expand moderately as well as those seeking to scale-up. Ensuring this vital investment activity is replicated post-Brexit should be a key dimension of the next government’s industrial strategy.

If the new administration is serious about developing an industrial strategy that promotes growth and productivity in all areas of the country, it must ensure our small businesses have the resources they need to invest, expand and scale-up.

“Failure to do so risks sluggish productivity, fewer jobs and business closures.”

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