Members can login to access the Business helpline.
The government web site Gov.uk provides useful guidance on a wide range of general business issues at
Government funding for small business lending
In December 2012 and March 2013, the government allocated funding from the Business Finance Partnership to enable lenders to offer small businesses alternatives to traditional bank lending, see http://news.bis.gov.uk/Press-Releases/-70-million-boost-to-small-business-lending-689d7.aspx
Loans from Community Development Finance Institutions
Community Development Finance Institutions (CDFIs) lend money to microenterprises (with less than 10 employees) and to small and medium sized businesses. They provide finance for a wide range of purposes including; working capital, bridging loans, property and equipment purchase, start up capital, business purchase and personal loans, although this will vary according to each individual CDFI. They will usually only lend to customers who have been unable to get finance from a high street bank or building society. Some CDFIs will provide an extra loan if a business is waiting for finance to come through from another source, or if a bank is only willing to lend part of the finance they need. There is more information available on the CDFA website at www.cdfa.org.uk/about-cdfis/
The CDFI finder can tell you which CDFIs you can apply to for finance and has information on how to apply for loans, see www.findingfinance.org.uk/find-finance/
Small business finance directory launched
An online directory of about 1,000 sources of commercial finance has been compiled by trade bodies representing alternative funding sources at www.smallbusinessfinancedirectory.co.uk/
The directory listings show whether or not the finance companies or brokers are members of the National Association of Commercial Finance Brokers (NACFB) or the Finance and Leasing Association (FLA). The directory was launched on 1st March 2012.
Protect your business from fraud
Fraud affects 1 in 4 small businesses every year. The National Fraud Authority has developed an online toolkit for SMEs to make them aware of potential threats and actions that they can take to protect their businesses, please see www.actionfraud.police.uk/small-businesses-know-your-business
For information on training courses to help you grow and develop your business visit the Training Growing Your Business page or contact the FMB's training department on 020 7092 3833.