Finance helpline for small firms

SMALL businesses have been given a lifeline for the economic downturn and finance famine in the form of a special telephone helpline for all financial enquiries. The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has introduced this additional service to its 215,00

SMALL businesses have been given a lifeline for the economic downturn and finance famine in the form of a special telephone helpline for all financial enquiries.

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has introduced this additional service to its 215,000 members in the form of the FSB Finance Helpline on 08000 193 633.

The new service is an addition to the FSB's other benefits for members that include a 24-hour legal helpline, insurance services, business banking and finance for business.

FSB Huntingdonshire chairman Malcolm Lyons said: "In these difficult times it is important for business owners to have sound advice so they can make the right decisions for the good of their business.


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"The FSB is lobbying the Government to ensure small businesses are given appropriate support, and this service will provide additional help to members who will be struggling with financial issues."

In a separate move, the East of England Development Agency announced that SMEs could get back up to half their training costs from the Government and EU. A total of £6.2million is available for companies in the East of England.

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The 'Beyond 2010' programme also offers a comprehensive 'Response to Redundancy' service for businesses in the region to help re-train workers who are facing unemployment.

The new programme will help the region's businesses raise their productivity through improved skills training. As part of the programme, businesses can contact specialist sector advisers who are able to discuss higher level training needs in detail and agree with the business which training course will best meet their needs.

The 'Response to Redundancy' arm of Beyond 2010 will provide advice, guidance and re-training opportunities to workers facing redundancy. It gives early support to certify their existing skills, and provides appropriate training to improve their opportunities in the new job market when they are made redundant.

Deborah Cadman, chief executive of EEDA, said: "Developing new skills is absolutely essential for any business looking to increase productivity. But perhaps more importantly, and certainly in the context of the current global economic downturn, a skilled workforce is an adaptable workforce."

INFORMATION: More about the Beyond 2010 programme on www.bizmapeast.co.uk

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