Guide to small business growth

A NEW guide will help viable small businesses develop better relationships with banks and access credit to grow and create jobs, according to Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Innovation, Batt O'Keeffe TD.

A NEW guide will help viable small businesses develop better relationships with banks and access credit to grow and create jobs, according to Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Innovation, Batt O'Keeffe TD.

'Your Business, Your Bank', a 17-page guide prepared by the Credit Supply Clearing Group, offers important advice for small business growth.

In particular, the group, made up of business representatives in the private and public sectors, examined relationship-building with banks, confidence in a challenging trading environment, and credit flow. The Government set up the Credit Supply Clearing Group in May last year.

Minister O'Keeffe said the guide would bring clarity to the challenges facing viable small businesses and help them to get credit to protect and create jobs.

"The guide outlines various funding options open to businesses, provides an insight into what banks are looking for when examining credit applications, imparts information on credit pricing, and reveals practical tips on how to package credit applications," said Minister O'Keeffe.

He explained the guide points out that about two-thirds of credit applications are now for working capital.

"Before 2008, most credit applications were for loans for new capital investments but the severe economic downturn has brought about a dramatic shift in that trend. This guide is timely in setting out the funding options for small

businesses, outlining how they can access the kind of credit they need, and drawing together multiple stakeholders across Government and the enterprise community towards the common cause of recovery in the domestic economy."

Minister O'Keeffe said the Government, through the Credit Review Office (CRO), is sustaining pressure on banks to deliver on the strong commitments given in their plans to support viable small businesses in all sectors of the economy and in every corner of the country.

"Small businesses are the bedrock of the indigenous economy and, although many challenges remain in credit lending for small businesses, we are making progress and jobs are being protected. The Government will continue to monitor very closely the banks' progress under their lending plans and press for more credit for viable small businesses which employ some 700,000 workers across the country," commented Minister O'Keeffe.