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New £10m fund set up to help London firms bust recession

PUBLISHED: 19:00 24 May 2010 | UPDATED: 16:04 05 October 2010

A NEW service is being unveiled by Boris Johnson tonight to give financial advice to London’s 4,500 small businesses to help them bust the recession. The £10m scheme is being announced at this-evening’s Mayor’s Question Time in Blackfriars

By Mike Brooke

A NEW service is being unveiled by Boris Johnson tonight to give financial advice to London's 4,500 small and medium businesses to help them bust the recession.

The £10m scheme is being announced at this-evening's Mayor's Question Time for businesses being held in the City.

The London Development Agency has invested £5m in the new programme with match funding from the European Regional Development fund.

Businesses that receive funding get specialist guidance in understanding their finance needs to develop the skills to raise their own equity. The programme is aimed at speeding up growth with the aim of creating more jobs.

The Federation of Small Businesses welcomed the new service "as it will be small businesses which will create the jobs as we come out of recession."

Raising cash has been a 'major challenge' for small businesses. Now the federation is hoping the banks will follow "the same level of confidence" the Mayor has shown in making finance available.

The Mayor's Question Time at Puddle Dock, in Blackfriars, chaired by Sky TV business correspondent Dharshini David, begins 7pm when Boris is joined on the panel by Bright Ideas Trust founder Tim Campbell, a winner in the BBC's Apprentice first series, London Chamber of Commerce chief Colin Stanbridge, Federation of Small Businesses boss Sue Terpilowski and the Mayor's policy director Anthony Browne.

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