Leicester

Leicestershire small businesses to be offered £1m

A £1m fund to help small businesses in Leicestershire is set to be approved.

The county council said it was looking to take the money out of reserves to help companies struggling to get investment elsewhere.

Loans of up to £25,000 would be available for existing firms employing fewer than 50 people.

Officials said the scheme, intended to be a short-term "shot in the arm" until the wider economy recovered, would be discussed by the council on 9 April.

A county council spokesman said the move had partly been prompted by the Leicestershire business survey, which showed a third of companies were concerned about cash flow and access to finance - and 55% of small firms were using credit cards to raise funds.

"Small businesses are the lifeblood of Leicestershire's economy but we are aware many of them are struggling to raise finance.

"This will give businesses a much needed shot in the arm - by helping them now, we can help Leicestershire's economy to bounce back," he added.

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