Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/03/13/british_chamber_commerce_banks_government/

Small biz group calls on UK.gov to give cashflow relief

'Extraordinarily difficult time'

By Kelly Fiveash

Posted in Small Biz, 13th March 2009 11:35 GMT

The British Chambers of Commerce has warned today that the government needs to do more to raise awareness among businesses about cashflow schemes in the current economic downturn.

The small biz group’s director general David Frost also called on banks to do more to support companies in the UK during the recession.

Around 90 per cent of businesses were found to be unaware their bank offered or utilised the government’s flagship Enterprise Finance Guarantee scheme, according to a BCC survey of 250 companies across Blighty.

Under the scheme the government will guarantee lending to viable businesses to ensure they can get the working capital and investment that they need to keep their heads above water.

In the same survey 61 per cent of firms reported they were being squeezed by late payments, while nearly a third of businesses shackled with an overdraft said their banks had jacked up overdraft fees over the past six months.

"A lot more needs to be done to raise awareness of these schemes. It is business that will drive the UK out of recession and it is vital that banks support companies through what is an extraordinarily difficult time,” said Frost.

“The government needs to address the growing pressures on cashflow within businesses, even beyond relationships with banks. This means scrapping the planned rise in National Insurance Contributions, calling time on harmful extra regulation and freezing the national minimum wage.” ®