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£200m lending fund launched to support small businesses across Kent

PUBLISHED: 00:01 16 June 2017

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The cash is being made available by HSBC

Small firms in Kent are set to benefit from a £200m lending fund launched by a bank today.

The cash from HSBC is part of a wider £10bn fund for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) across the UK, as part of a broader commitment to helping British businesses realise their ambitions for growth.

A major focus of this year’s fund is to encourage small businesses to feel confident about exploring opportunities for export.

A 2016 report by the Federation of Small Businesses noted that one-in-five small businesses currently export, but there is potential to double this figure with the right support.

Kent-based maritime training academy, Maritime Skills Academy, was one of many firms to benefit from last year’s SME Fund.

The Academy, which offers specialist lifeboat safety courses at Ballast Quay in the Port of Dover, secured a £1.6m finance package from HSBC to support the construction of its bespoke training venue.

The new venue provides courses for those entering and working within the maritime industry and created 12 new jobs.

With a geographic network covering more than 90 per cent of global trade and capital flows, HSBC says it is uniquely placed to help businesses to understand the available markets and overcome the obstacles to growth.

Brian Weare, HSBC’s regional director for the south east region, said: “The launch of this fund reaffirms our commitment to support the growth of Kent SMEs of all sizes, from start-ups to established businesses.

“We have so many ambitious businesses in our region who are keen to grow locally, nationally and internationally.

“This fund is all about helping those businesses make investments that will enable them to achieve their goals while stimulating our local economy and creating jobs.”

Amanda Murphy, head of commercial banking at HSBC UK, added: “SMEs are the lifeblood of the UK economy, and for many there is an opportunity and appetite to grow their business through exporting.

“HSBC can provide access to new trading networks for businesses of all sizes, help them to understand how they can consider exporting with confidence, and has the expertise to help businesses navigate change by being responsive, flexible and nimble.”

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