New financial intermediary service
The Government has launched a financial intermediary service designed to help small businesses in their search for funding.
The free service, available via Business Link, provides guidance and support for businesses that encounter problems accessing finance, and aims to help forge stronger relationships between small firms and banks.
The Forum of Private Business (FPB) welcomed the move.
Nick Palin, the FPB's director of finance, said: "The lack of availability of credit remains a concern and the cost of finance is still high. Many small firms are being rejected simply because of their size or industry sector.
"We are calling on the banks to get behind this initiative publicly so that viable yet struggling business owners are encouraged to explore the help that is available."
FPB member Shelton Fernando who runs the Shelley's Hotel in Lewes, East Sussex, said: "Running a business is one thing; fighting with the bank you can do without. So anything like this can only help the situation."
Small businesses with 11 to 25 employees saw a marked increase in insolvencies during September, according the latest Insolvency Index from global information services company Experian.
The rate of insolvencies among these businesses rose from 0.21% in September 2008 to 0.26% in September 2009.
This was the biggest year-on-year increase seen by any business type and also the biggest month-on-month increase (from 0.21 in August).
The total number of insolvencies within businesses of this size increased year-on-year by 19% - 43 more business failures than in September 2008 - and month-on-month by 20%.