Responding to the British Business Bank's report which shows gross bank lending (excluding overdrafts) to smaller businesses rose to £104bn, up 82% year-on-year, Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Treasury, Christine Jardine MP, said:
"These latest figures illustrate just how desperately our small businesses need a lifeline, which the Chancellor failed to throw them in his budget.
"They need help not more ways of taking on debt to survive.
“Firms in sectors like travel, retail and tourism are finding that their owners who have already invested decades of their time are now spending their life savings and taking on debt.
"These are viable businesses, who have supported jobs in our communities and who followed the Government's guidelines, yet are paying the price.
“That is why I am calling for urgent compensation to businesses drowning in spiralling fixed costs. In particular, helping with rent costs, which small businesses are forced to pay despite being closed for months to come.
"We've seen this work to great success in Germany already, and it's time British small businesses also received this vital lifeline."
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