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British Business Bank launches initial phase of ‘Help to Grow’

The British Business Bank has launched the initial phase of Help to Grow, which is expected to support around GBP200 million of growth loans in its first two years. The Prime Minister announced the programme in February 2015.

The first GBP30 million tranche of lending supported by Help to Grow will be available to growing businesses through Lloyds Banking Group.

Loans of up to GBP2 million will support the development of new products and processes, stimulate research and innovation and help businesses target new export markets.

The lending will be available to businesses across all sectors, and is expected to benefit most those with high levels of innovation and growth ambition – such as manufacturing businesses, creative industries and the technology sector.

The initial phase of Help to Grow was increased from GBP100 million to GBP200 million in the Chancellor’s Budget in March 2016.

Keith Morgan, CEO, British Business Bank, says: “This first GBP30 million of the British Business Bank’s Help to Grow programme will enable innovative and ambitious smaller businesses to raise the debt they need to fund their growth opportunities. It is an important milestone for the British Business Bank in our ambitions to encourage and support UK businesses to scale-up and achieve their potential.

“We want to replicate the drive and dynamism evident in the UKs start-up culture in later stages of the small business journey, and Help To Grow has a critical role to play in achieving that.

“We are pleased to announce our partnership with Lloyds Banking Group and to be working with the European Investment Fund to bring this vitally important finance to the UK market.”

Chris Loring, Managing Director of Lending Products, Lloyds Banking Group, says: “Lloyds Banking Group is committed to helping small business and Help to Grow is just one of the ways which will help us to continue to grow our lending to more of the UK’s fastest growing companies.
“We are excited to be the first bank to deliver this GBP30 million tranche of Help to Grow which will help ambitious businesses become more innovative, access new international markets and help Britain prosper.”

EIF’s Chief Executive, Pier Luigi Gilibert, says: “The British Business Bank is one of our key partners in the UK and we are delighted to expand our cooperation by signing this EFSI InnovFin SME Counter-Guarantee agreement for the benefit of innovative SMEs.

“This new transaction will allow innovative UK companies to have access to a new funding source. This year alone together with the British Business Bank, we have committed well over GBP200 million to UK SMEs.”

European Commission Vice-President Jyrki Katainen, responsible for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness, says: "The EIF's collaboration with the British Business Bank – which is supported by the Investment Plan for Europe – is very important. The UK is full of innovative start-ups and small businesses which require a helping hand to grow their companies, and today's news will certainly help many aspirations become a reality."

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