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Entrepreneurs Panel

Tony Caldeira
Jennie Johnson
Debbie Pierce
Richard O'Sullivan
Julie Meyer
Laura Tenison
Charlie Mullins
David Pollock
Brian Hay
Jeremy Roberts
Michael Oliver
Steve Purdham

£40m fund launched for SMEs in London

SMEs in London will now have the chance to apply for a share of a £40 million fund which is designed to encourage jobs and growth among businesses in the capital.

Some £25 million of the fund will be used to create a scheme to raise equity or loan finance for SMEs. London has around 800,000 SMEs which generate around £430bn of turnover.

The remaining £15 million will go towards investment into London’s science and technology sector or infrastructure.

Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said that his top priority is to get the capital’s economy moving in order to create employment opportunities.

“Harnessing the expertise of the London Enterprise Panel (LEP), we have taken a forensic look at what type of support is needed to oil the wheels of enterprise in this city.

“The fund, which will enable significant support for small and medium businesses, is just one way we are working to unlock potential and provide jobs for our growing city.

“I look forward to collaborating with the LEP as we champion further ways to ensure London retains its competitive edge among world cities,” he added.

The initiative forms part of proposals to invest the second tranche of the £111 million provided to the LEP by the Government in order to boost the capital’s economy.

A total of around £70 million has been allocated or is in the pipeline for bids received in the first round of funding. These are now being worked up into detailed proposals with a view to confirm more funding announcements in the coming months.

Last month, Johnson and the LEP provided £2 million for Film London, enabling it to capitalise on a new tax relief for TV and animation production. It is anticipated this will attract £200 million worth of additional expenditure through TV and animation production and create 1,000 industry jobs.

Andrew Palmer, Confederation of British Industry director for London, welcomed the £40 million fund.

He said, “With youth unemployment in London too high, it’s encouraging to see the Mayor backing skills development and job creation in some of the capital’s most vibrant sectors.

“The focus on supporting small and medium-sized businesses to overcome the hurdle of accessing finance will help them to grow and fulfil their potential.”

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