Hertfordshire MP Bim Afolami is proud of his Government’s achievements in supporting the Business sector with so many grant and loan options so quickly delivered at the start of the COVID19 epidemic. Many SMEs have signed up to, or received, financial support whilst ceasing trade and keeping their employees safe. Working alongside a small team he has launched his plans for ”Unlocking Britain” http://www.unlockbritain.com/ and in essence wants the Chancellor to support an additional SME debt for equity fund of £15 billion to help SME business recovery.
Adrian Hawkins, Chairman of biz4Biz, said “We are in uncharted territory. I have been involved with my own SME companies for 40 years and whilst I experienced many recessions, I have never seen anything like the situation created by this pandemic. In recent times and owing to my involvement with biz4Biz, the Herts LEP and the Herts Growth Hub as a result, I have been instrumental in assisting SMEs find advice and financial support wherever possible. No one can conceive just how painful the pandemic has been for SMEs”.
‘Unlocking Britain’ the plan for SME business recovery
Is there a likelihood for matters to be far more painful in the future? We hope not! Most SMEs are driven by a desire to do things in their own way in their style and because this is an individualist trait, we must consider supporting their enthusiasm for the challenges that lay ahead created by this “State inflicted Debt burden” a necessary cost to keeping their staff safe.
We need to raise their spirits and demonstrate how to rebuild a business that has suffered such surreal devastation from the lockdown. The last thing any SME will need in the future is a demand to repay a debt secured on the business to help them get through this pandemic. The scheme promoted by Bim Afolami MP is masterful and forward thinking in “Unlocking Britain” in the most appropriate way.
The equity for debt proposal could also “Reignite SME Growth and Competitiveness”, a National scheme supported by the Cranfield University, the University of Hertfordshire, the LEP Network, Action Coach, the Herts LEP and biz4Biz alongside many others to help deliver first aid to businesses and ensure that SMEs focus on the strengths of their business and increase their efficiency, productivity and profitability. With a smaller amount of Government funding to assist this proven support mechanism, it is hoped that SMEs will leave this pandemic stronger than they entered.