Support for small businesses

The Independent reports on Labour’s announcement last week to establish a network of business advisers in Post Office branches to help small firms access support and finance

A Post Office bank would also be set up, called Post Bank, with experts at larger branches around the country to offer advice. The proposed Business Development Agency is intended to be a ‘one stop shop’ for small business. These promises form part of a 20-point pledge, unveiled last week by Shadow Business Secretary Rebecca Long-Bailey, to help small businesses and reinvigorate high streets.

Conversely, the Government has released £35 million of funding for rural businesses in England through the Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE). Money will be awarded as grants between £20,000 and £175,000 or up to 40 per cent of project costs.

It’s intended to support business owners in purchasing equipment ‘in order to accelerate business growth and open up tourism opportunities’. The funding is targeted at 98 per cent of the rural economy in England that is not directly engaged in farming. £99m has already been distributed to local rural companies across England through the programme’s previous rounds, resulting in the creation of 3,771 new jobs in total. Applications are open until February 16th.

Full articles:

The Independent -  Labour announces plans for Post Office business advisers as part of 20-point plan to help small firms

Government Europa - RDPE Growth Programme to support English rural business

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