HC Deb 17 June 2002 vol 387 c25W
Mr. Lidington

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what her policy is towards the repayment of the(a) interest and (b) capital on loans made by Business Link to firms that subsequently suffered a severe loss of business as a result of the outbreak of foot and mouth disease. [61539]

Nigel Griffiths

Business Link Operators have not offered loans to businesses that suffered losses as a result of foot and mouth disease. However, some elements of the Rural Business Recovery Fund were used to assist businesses with interest relief on existing loans. The Small Firms Loan Guarantee Scheme (operated by high street banks) was extended to bring in scope businesses affected by foot and mouth disease. To date 40 new loans have been granted as a result of the extension. Repayment conditions are the same as loans normally offered under the scheme.

Brian Cotter

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many calls the Business Links Complaints Hotline has received since its inception. [61315]

Nigel Griffiths

Since the Business Link Feedback Line began in July 1998 it has received under 100 calls. The vast majority were complaints from clients of the Business Link Network who were unable to solve the problem at a local level.

I am informed that all the complaints received have been resolved apart from three which are currently being dealt with.

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