Should Norfolk County Council reserves be used to help small businesses struggling to get credit?

A report this week suggested that public cash held in reserves at Norfolk County Council should be used to create a 'growth fund' to help fund small businesses in the county struggling to borrow from the banks.

The research, carried out by Norwich Business School on behalf of economic development partnership Shaping Norfolk's Future, found evidence that while banks were prepared to lend, particular sectors and types of business were facing significant challenges.

Many local firms were also shunning lenders because they believed they would be turned down.

The authority has previously offered support to its smaller contractors to help ride out the recession, but any plans for a 'Bank of Norfolk' fell by the wayside when a similar idea faltered in Essex.

And with the authority among those caught out in the Icelandic banking crisis, there appears to be little appetite for further financial wizardry among policymakers.


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But with County Hall already embarking on a cuts programme to fill a �155m funding black hole in the next three years, would the cash it does have in reserves be better spent helping Norfolk's firms kickstart growth, or assisting the frontline?

What do you think? Could such a scheme help your business?

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