Clarke says banks must do more to provide finance to small businesses

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Wednesday, September 4th, 2013
Alliance South Down spokesperson Councillor Patrick Clarke has said that banks still need to do more to provide finance to small businesses. His comments were made after a survey by the Northern Ireland Independent Retail Association revealed that their members were finding it easier to access finance. In a survey of 100 of its members, 65 were able to access finance in the past three years. Clarke said, “Small and medium sized enterprises are the lifeblood of the Northern Ireland economy. There is great enthusiasm and potential for growth in this sector. However, many have faced problems in accessing finance since the economic downturn. “This survey shows that perhaps the tide is beginning to change for SMEs in how they are treated by banks. However, there is more that could be done to help support and grow these small businesses. “Unfortunately there are SME’s currently still unable to access finance from the main leading banks in Northern Ireland and as a result are unable to grow or expand their businesses. Clarke added, “I hope the new Assembly Group on SMEs will provide a platform for the relevant stakeholders to come together to generate practical ideas and proposals to solve the problems faced by those in this sector.”
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