§ Mr. Grylls
asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will summarise the benefits to the economy derived from the loan guarantee scheme.
§ Mr. Trippier
The scheme must be seen as an important part of the Government's overall objective of 389W stimulating a healthy and expanding small business sector. Its impact on the economoy is therefore interwoven with other measures designed to help small firms and to foster a climate in which enterprise can flourish. It is clear that the scheme has already enabled a substantial number of small firms to be set up or expand that would not have been able to do so in the absence of the scheme. Many of these are doing well and are going from strength to strength. In addition the scheme has an educational role to play in the market for small business finance. Clearly the wider economic benefits of the scheme are extremely difficult to quantify, but they must be taken into account in any evaluation of its impact. I hope to be able to say more when I have completed my review of the scheme.