The MIA is a member of the influential and active CBI, on behalf of our members, which allows us to lobby more effectively on major business matters of relevance to motorsport.
Recent good news shows what action the CB has taken to help SMEs during the credit crunch and difficult economy in 2009. This is summarised below….
- Small businesses and banks had a frank discussion on the cost and availability of lending, particularly for growth capital, at a recent round table meeting hosted by the CBI. This developed greater understanding of the difficult trading conditions under which both sectors are operating, and the structure of the government's proposed Small Business Finance Scheme to be launched in January.
- The CBI secured revisions to the British Bankers' Association's Statement of Principles, which defines how banks will work with their small business customers. The revision was signed off at Lord Mandelson's Small Business Finance Forum, where both banks and SME representative bodies agreed there should be more active communication between banks and SME customers, at the local level.
- CBI deputy director-general, John Cridland, negotiated a new prompt payment code with Lord Mandelson aimed at facilitating customers payments to smaller companies. This focuses on three main areas: a commitment to pay suppliers on time; giving clear guidance to suppliers; and encouraging good payment practice. All CBI members are encouraged to consider signing the code, which is available here: www.promptpaymentcode.org.uk
- The CBI also submitted evidence to the Commons Select Committee for Business and Enterprise, who are conducting an inquiry into financial support for SMEs
The four largest providers of banking services to small businesses have made announcements with respect to their customers :
- Among other assurances, NatWest and RBS pledged not to increase pricing on committed overdrafts.
- LloydsTSB launched a six point charter for small businesses, including a commitment to pass on, in full, base rate reductions in 2008 and 2009
- HSBC created a $5billion global working capital fund to help fundamentally sound SMEs weather short-term shocks caused by the recession.
- Barclays committed to making a further £1.5billion available to SMEs in 2009 and its CreditFocus service free of charge to all UK small businesses, whether or not they are a Barclays customer.
The CBI is now working closely with the banks as they underline their commitments to small businesses on lending. We continue to make a strong case for extending similar commitments to medium-sized businesses