HC Deb 08 March 2004 vol 418 c1376W
Mrs. Roche

To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what steps he is taking to ensure that(a) sufficient funding is available for small business start-ups in inner city areas and (b) sufficient information about that funding is relayed to local communities. [158083]

Yvette Cooper

To address the barriers to enterprise affecting the most disadvantaged communities in the country the Government has created 2000 Enterprise Areas, where businesses may benefit from one of several new or existing forms of Government assistance. These include help from the Phoenix Fund, which has been allocated £140 million to 2006 to provide finance for organisations providing funding for small businesses in disadvantaged communities, and encourages innovative ideas to promote and support enterprise in disadvantaged areas and in groups currently under-represented in terms of business ownership. Other measures designed to encourage enterprise include stamp duty exemptions, targeted support from the Inland Revenue and HM Customs, and neighbourhood renewal projects. Help is also available to community enterprises through the Adventure Capital Fund. Although it is not possible to put a monetary value on all these measures at this stage, they all provide real financial inducements for new businesses.

Regional Development Agencies, Local authorities, Business Link Operators and Local Strategic Partnerships play a significant role in boosting the awareness and uptake of relevant measures by local businesses and entrepreneurs.

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