MP Chloe Smith meets Foundation East to discuss alternative funding for small firms

Treasury minister Chloe Smith is today due to meet the not-for-profit financial body Foundation East to discuss its work in providing alternative sources of funding for small firms.

Foundation East is a Community Development Finance Institution (CDFI) that provides business loans for existing and start-up businesses in the East of England.

Businesses within the region can apply for loans of up to �50,000 when they have been turned down for financial services by a bank.

Ms Smith, MP for Norwich North, is due to meet Katy Ford, the foundation's chief executive, and Richard Glinn, its marketing and membership manager.

'In times of financial difficulty it is important for local businesses to know that there is financial help available to them,' Ms Smith said.

'I support Foundation East's work in providing financial support to local businesses when they have been turned down for loans elsewhere. I have long campaigned in support of local businesses and for local jobs and think Foundation East provides positive opportunities for local businesses to grow in a difficult financial climate.'

Mr Glinn added: 'Chloe has recognised that we are in a position to support her constituents; those who require business finance now.

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'If someone has a business idea, the drive, the passion and a realistic plan, Foundation East will endeavour to provide the financial support that, at present, is not so readily available from other institutions. We have both the infrastructure and the funds.

'It is very important that people are aware of all the responsible lending options. Chloe's continued support in getting the Foundation East message across will boost the local economy and create and save jobs.'