Amidst the on-going turmoil engulfing us all, it is gratifying that the underlying mission and purpose of this government hasn't been entirely forgotten amongst those who are serving in it. Paul Scully MP, Minister for Small Business outlines his vision to turn the levelling up agenda into a reality across the country. As ever, only time will tell whether the measures announced here will help transform our regional economies in ways we all wish to see, with skills and targeted funding at the heart of them:
"Although dealing with the pandemic has, of course, been the priority, we have not lost sight of our mission to level up every part of the country and deliver a more high-skill, high-wage economy. Now that the economy has reopened, the government is looking at broader ways to support small businesses as we look to the future. This is a personal passion of mine and something I feel privileged to work on.
The government introduced the Future Fund to help innovative, newer firms access the funding they needed. This supported more than 1,000 companies, and we have now launched a £375m successor scheme called the Future Fund: Breakthrough, which will support UK start-ups and fast-growing firms. For freelancers and the self-employed, the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS) provided millions of pounds worth of grants.
Levelling up will mean boosting opportunity and backing entrepreneurship across the country. Schemes like these are designed to help innovative firms get off the ground, complementing private sector lending and levelling the playing field – especially for entrepreneurs who might otherwise struggle to get a bank loan."
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