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Albert Goodman lobbies Government to solve funding problems for SMEs

Leading South West accountancy firm, Albert Goodman, is supporting a national campaign to lobby the Government to take a more common sense approach to solve the economic problems and funding issues for small and medium sized enterprises.

 
 
Tracey Williams
PRLog - Aug. 3, 2012 - SOUTH PETHERTON, U.K. -- Albert Goodman, is supporting a national campaign, alongside their colleagues in the Corporate Finance Network (CFN), to lobby the Government to take a more common sense approach to solve the economic problems and funding issues for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs).

The Albert Goodman team’s opinion is that the newly-announced Funding for Lending Scheme will not boost the economy because it is focusing on providing funding for banks to lend more, which they are unable to do due to the restrictions on them from regulators and shareholders.

Tracey Williams, Corporate Finance Partner at Albert Goodman, explains, “The lending environment has changed forever. Trying to fix problems with old solutions of traditional lending just won’t work any longer, and the Government needs to look at completely different approaches to boost the economy and help small and medium sized businesses. We believe that our and the CFN’s ideas are a refreshing change to what has gone before, and together with our more innovative way of looking at a business’ funding requirements, we can help provide the stimulus that the country truly needs.”

Albert Goodman and the Corporate Finance Network (CFN) has made alternative suggestions to the Government, which include:
1.   Tax breaks for business acquisitions: Under the Government scheme there is a focus on encouraging new start-up businesses. Whilst this is very admirable, a multipronged approach is required. The proposal by Albert Goodman and the CFN is that there should be a tax break to purchase existing small businesses. Many of these businesses are underperforming and consolidation is needed in sectors which are too dispersed. Additionally, an aging business owner population means that an increasing number of businesses are winding up. When owners finally retire, they are less likely to sell to larger corporates, who are now more risk-averse. When these businesses cease trading it is detrimental to the local economy as it removes employment and output.

2.   More transparent lending contracts with a new medium term overdraft product: Most overdrafts are renewable each year, but this isn’t long enough for a business owner to feel secure in their facilities. Many businesses are nervous about approaching banks for new lending, as they don’t want to bring attention to their relationship and affect the stability of existing facilities. The CFN is proposing a more equal relationship in the contractual terms of the legal agreements between banks and customers, and the introduction of a longer term working capital facility.  

3.   Use interest rate incentive schemes for less traditional financiers: Independent Asset Based Lenders (such as invoice discounters and asset financiers) and crowdfunders aren’t able to access most of these recent schemes for banks. These new forms of lending are becoming the most active in the marketplace and Albert Goodman and the CFN would like to see Government backed schemes encouraging lending to include them, which will make the lending more effective.

The Corporate Finance Network is hoping to meet with Lord Young, Enterprise Advisor to the Prime Minister, in the autumn, to discuss the suggested changes and influence Government.

Albert Goodman has offices across the region including Taunton, Chard, Yeovil, Bridgwater, Weston-super-Mare and Weymouth. For further information, visit www.albertgoodman.co.uk.

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