On The Money: Toby Perkins MP investigates bank lending to small business

Following concerns raised by a number of Chesterfield businesses and the demise of the well-loved Chesterfield music shop Hudson’s, Toby Perkins MP has visited Barclays Bank’s Sanction Office to discuss access to finance for Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs).

Barclays’ team in Leeds are responsible processing credit applications for new and growing firms across the country – including a number of expanding companies in Chesterfield.

Mr Perkins, who is also the Shadow Minister for Small Business, followed the journey of a number of applicants applying to borrow up to £5million.

The banks assess a number of criteria before investing in order to guarantee their stake.

A criticism of the banks since the onset of the credit crunch has been that growing and struggling companies have struggled to secure financial support which is hampering efforts to expand and create jobs.

Toby Perkins MP said: ‘It was interesting to see the process financiers undertake before loaning to up-and-coming businesses.

‘Many of the business people I meet in Chesterfield and across the country have expressed concern that financial backing is increasingly difficult to come by.

‘It is evident that an ongoing lack of confidence in the government’s management of the economy has led to banks being more cautious with their cash.’

Mr Perkins added: ‘That’s why I’m calling on the government to temporarily reverse the damaging VAT rise which is hitting the money in people’s pockets and reducing consumer spending. This is putting companies out of business and people out of work. I also propose that the government introduces a temporary National Insurance holiday for every small firm that takes on extra workers.’

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Welcome

I am Toby Perkins, Labour's Member of Parliament for Chesterfield. If you would like to get in touch with me, my office is open and can be reached by phone on 01246 386 286. I also hold regular surgeries so that constituents can meet me and I can take up their concerns. If you would like to make an appointment then please do contact my office. Thank you for visiting.

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