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Yorkshire businesses 'cannot access funding'

06/11/13

Businesses in Yorkshire are struggling to gain access to funding through traditional sources, according to a new report from the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) and accountancy firm BDO.

More support from the government and the financial services industry would help corporate organisations expand and work with their counterparts abroad to boost the region's economy, reports the Yorkshire Post.

CBI chief policy director Katja Hall said: "There is a disturbing gap in export finance that is shackling the international ambitions of medium-sized businesses across Yorkshire and could damage the local and UK economy's long-term prospects."

Previous research from the BI found that medium-sized firms could be worth roughly £20 billion to the country's economy if aided in this way, highlighting the importance that accrues to businesses attracting this kind of finance.

Only 52 small and medium-sized firms across the UK have received direct assistance from the UK Export Finance scheme in the last year, suggesting this may not be the best way to deal with the situation as it develops.

Ms Hall urged the government to reach out to businesses 'on the ground' rather than relying on a top-down approach that places the onus on the firms to take action.

Although three-quarters of companies hope to make more money from working with foreign counterparts in the coming three years, the majority of them have little knowledge of the schemes offered by the coalition.

If the government is hoping to highlight the UK's attractiveness to global businesses, it needs to ensure they can gain access to finance more easily, according to the CBI.

Although London is often cited as a major financial hub, regions such as Yorkshire and the neighbouring north-west of England could also play a role in economic recovery if given the opportunity to do so.

According to the latest Lloyds TSB Yorkshire & Humber PMI data , business activity in Yorkshire rose at its fastest rate for 13 years over the last quarter.

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