Government loans

The government has ring-fenced cash for investment in startups as a means of injecting capital into the UK economy since 2012. Originally these £2,500 loans were available only to 18-24 year olds but this has since been expanded. Now anyone 18 or over is eligible for up to a £25,000 share of a £112m loan pot.

The increase in funding available comes off the back of criticism that found that a £2,500 small business loan was not enough to make a different to the fortunes of all but the smallest businesses.

Importantly, startup loans are only given to businesses if they are going to operate from, and within, the UK. This means that the return on investment is kept within the country in a time when fears about foreign investment abound. Analysts are particularly concerned about swathes of London property development sites being bought up by international speculators.

Going forwards the Tories also pledged, in their 2015 party manifesto, to triple the number of startup loans to 75,000. The 2015 budget, however, saw an incoming rise in minimum wage that detractors have said will hit small, independent businesses the hardest. But, with the government promising to somewhat offset this by reducing NI contributions made by SME's and the buoyant UK economy, it's never been a better time to apply for a new small business loan.

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