§ 19. Mr. Grylls
asked the Secretary of State for Industry if he will make a statement on the progress of his consultations with organisations representing smaller firms on the expansion of the loan guarantee scheme.
§ Mr. MacGregor
As part of my preliminary review of the loan guarantee scheme, and following the Departmental sample study which has just been196W completed, I have now written to the main small firms organisations asking them for their views on the various aspects of the scheme's operation which seem to me to be of particular significance at this stage. I intend to meet them within the next month to discuss their responses. My hon. Friend will be interested to learn that the provisional figures for the first year of the scheme show that the total of guaranteed loans issued was £149.1 million to 4,440 businesses.