There are many routes you can go down to secure funding these days – equity finance, bank finance, if those are non-starters, scrabbling around down the back of the sofa usually turns up something.An interesting blog from Robert ‘darling of the recession’ Peston alerted Smarta to the government’s newest suggestion, though: publicly funded business loans.The £1bn scheme, announced by Alistair Darling in his pre-budget report on Monday, will allow small businesses to borrow between £1,000 and £1m at ‘more flexible terms than before’ which, according to Darling, will make lending ‘more affordable and easily accessible’.Is it a good idea, though? Well, the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) certainly seems to think so.“It’s a sign of the importance of small businesses to the UK economy,” beamed the organisation’s national policy chairman, John Walker. “It will provide a vital cash boost to businesses struggling with rising costs and a lack of credit.”While Smarta can see some problems associated with having a group of entrepreneurs who are essentially working for the government, we’re inclined to agree. Well done, Darling. You’ve have given us at least one thing to look forward to in February.