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Friday, June 21, 2019

Opinion > HTB

By helping SMEs grow, local communities will thrive

Stuart Hulme, director of savings and marketing at Hampshire Trust Bank | 16:57 Wednesday 25th July 2018

On 26th June, the government announced a new £8m fund to support SMEs.

The new fund will help more small businesses adopt tried and tested technologies to “unlock £100bn of untapped benefit to [the] economy”. Moreover, the fund underpins the government’s desire to make Britain now and in the future the best place in the world to do business.

Boosting national productivity and increasing workers’ earning power forms a key part of the government’s modern industrial strategy and the Business Basics Fund – run by BEIS (the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) in partnership with Innovate UK – will help businesses, charities, trade organisations and public sector organisations support small businesses in adopting tried and tested technologies and management techniques.

This will be welcome news for the hundreds and thousands of regional and local SMEs up and down the country. As a specialist bank, we steadfastly believe that small businesses are the backbone of our economy. According to the government, more that 1,000 new businesses start up every day and, while governments have a role to play in helping them grow, so do banks such as ourselves.

Moreover, by supporting SMEs, specialist banks can also help local communities. Regional SMEs help create thriving communities and provide an impetus to local areas in a way that large multinational companies cannot. Local SMEs not only create jobs, but they add value in other ways too, including contributing to a community’s local and individual identity, helping improve community involvement and, importantly, developing a sense of community. Put simply, local businesses are the life blood of cities, towns and villages up and down the country.

When you support a local business, you’re helping to support the area as a whole. For Hampshire Trust Bank, it’s much more than just lending, providing competitive rates and a diverse range of products. It’s also about helping SMEs grow and, therefore, supporting local communities.

This year remains a challenging time for British businesses, however, SMEs need to carry on investing and innovating to support growth. Specialist banks – such as Hampshire Trust Bank – will play an increasingly critical role in providing the funding SMEs need to thrive and flourish. We are committed to supporting British businesses through this year and beyond, now and in the future.

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