The UK Government owned British Business Bank last week issued its 75,000th loan through the Start Up Loans programme, making more than £623 million invested in small businesses across the UK since its launch in 2012.

Across the West Midlands 6,198 awards have been made to small businesses and entrepreneurs, totalling more than £50 million. Small businesses are the backbone of our local economy across Aldridge-Brownhills and the Government is committed to giving them the support they need to flourish and thrive.

The Start Up Loans scheme has helped to support thousands of small businesses and entrepreneurs, including those who may otherwise have struggled, meaning it has helped drive investment and boost our local economy. Having come from a small business background I understand the challenges of starting up your own business and how important access to finance is to get your business off the ground.

As we rebuild our economy I will continue to work to give our entrepreneurs and innovators across Aldridge-Brownhills all the support that they need to keep them in business so that they can create and protect jobs.