FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Boost Capital, the challenger lender to small businesses has responded to the budget with muted enthusiasm, disappointed at the Chancellor's failure to announce any real progress on the development of the bank declines referral portal .
Chief Executive of Boost Capital in the UK, Alex Littner said, 'Despite calling this "a Budget that backs small business", it's disappointing the Government scarcely addressed small companies' ongoing need for finance. In particular, there was only passing mention of the bank referral scheme - a project that was announced in the Budget two years ago, but has yet to be given a date for launch - while many SMEs continue to be rejected for conventional bank funding. Their need is real and urgent. If properly administered, this scheme could introduce ambitious, but currently under-funded small firms to alternative providers with both the resources and appetite to lend.

'Measures to reduce business taxation, abolish business rates for many firms, help online traders, and improve the UK's infrastructure will all be welcomed by small business bosses. The £1 billion package to support SMEs via the British Business Bank is also positive. But without a concerted effort to give firms broader access to business capital, many smaller enterprises will struggle to function at all. Action must be taken now to boost lending to this hard-working community, which is itself so important to Britain's future prosperity.'

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