Lancashire firms call for better access to finance

Easier access to finance is the top priority for stimulating growth in the Lancashire economy, according to the latest Quarterly Economic Survey from the North & Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce.

More than 240 businesses responded to the second quarter survey of 2012, and the feeling amongst many is that growth is still being hampered by bank lending restrictions.

Chamber chief executive Babs Murphy said: “We’ve had a lot of rhetoric from the government and the banks that money is available to the right businesses, but the reality is that businesses are struggling to secure the funds they need.

“Hopefully the new banking package announced by the chancellor and the governor of the Bank of England recently will encourage the banks to lend more.”

Other top priorities for boosting growth in Lancashire included calls for the Government to reduce VAT, cut business taxes and increase spending on infrastructure projects.

Meanwhile, there was good news for motorists with the government’s decision to postpone its planned 3p-a-litre rise in fuel duty in August until January next year.

Dr Neil Bentley, CBI deputy director general, said: “This decision will be welcomed by hard-pressed families and businesses across the country. A fuel duty freeze will help to support road hauliers and freight transport operators, making delivering our goods that bit more affordable, and supporting the economy during the challenging months ahead.”

The full results of the survey will be discussed over breakfast on Tuesday July 3 in Leyland. Click here for details.