Lib Dems get answers on "Banking on Essex"

May 12, 2010 8:03 PM
Cllr David Kendall

County Cllr David Kendall

Lib Dem County Councillor David Kendall has managed to get answers to a number of key questions regarding "Banking on Essex" from Tory controlled Essex County Council. Cllr Kendall, a long term critic of the scheme, asked just how much support had been given to small businesses in Essex since it's launch in a blaze of publicity back in late 2009. Judging by the answers it seems he was right to have those concerns.

The key points are as follows:

  • There have been 223 enquiries from businesses for loans
  • Only 10 loan applications have been approved
  • 14 loan applications are awaiting decision
  • The total value of the loans approved is £290,000
  • £50 million was originally set aside to fund this project

County Cllr Kendall said:

"After all the hype and publicity surrounding the launch of Banking on Essex I was really hoping that this scheme would provide much needed help and support to small businesses in Essex who have been struggling to borrow money from the High Street banks.

"However it would appear that from the small number of loan applications approved to date that borrowing money from Banking On Essex has not been any easier than getting it from the High Street banks.

"If the economy in Essex is going to be given the kick start it badly needs then Banking On Essex should be playing a much more proactive role in promoting what it can offer to small businesses and certainly giving them more support than they are at the moment.

"In the meantime I will continue to monitor how residents' money is being used and hold the Conservative administration to account."