Trick Is Missed by Government; BUDGET: Criticism for 'Failure to Create Options for Access to Finance'

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Byline: Jenny Waddington

THE government has missed a chance to tackle a diffi-cult credit market by failing to create more options for access to finance, according to business leaders in Coventry and Warwickshire. The local Federation of Small Businesses claim the government should have addressed this challenge in the Pre-Budget Report and looked at options such as a regional stock ex-x change to help small and fastgrowing firms capture finance. Speaking after Alistair Darling delivered his final Pre-Budget Report before the election, business leaders have expressed their views on the Chancellor's report.

Bruce Undy, FSB Warwick-k shire and Coventry chairman, said: "Extending the Enterprise Finance Guarantee scheme, which we called for last year and has seen more than pounds 600 million lent out to just over 6,000 businesses, is a welcome move, although we wanted to see the scheme extended indefinitely and promoted further to help small firms get much-needed access to fi-nance.

"The government has missed a chance to really tackle a diffi-cult credit market by failing to create more options for access to finance, and more competition among high street banks.

"The government should have addressed this challenge and looked at options such as a regional stock exchange to help small and fast growing businesses capture finance. …