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Event To Prime Highland Firms For Investment

7th April 2013

Small firms from across the Highlands will get the lowdown on how to tap into traditional and alternative sources of finance at an event in Inverness later this month.

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has joined forces with local business experts Highland Opportunity and their Business Gateway service plus MSP, Rhoda Grant, to host a special event -Accessing Business Finance - at the Inverness Caledonian Thistle Stadium on the 29 April.

The difficulties that small businesses face when trying to access the finance necessary for them to grow and develop is of great concern, especially given that the Government is relying on these same small businesses to lead the recovery. So just where will the money come from to enable this to happen? It is to help answer this pressing question that this event is being held.

Open to all small businesses, the day will bring together representatives from the major banks, alternative providers of business funding, accountants and lawyers and will be based on a series of talks, workshops and one-to-one conversations.

It is hoped that the event will be of interest not just to small businesses but also the professionals who support them and will be a good opportunity to strengthen business networks.

Amanda Frazer, Regional Chair - Highlands & Islands, Federation of Small Businesses said Small businesses are fundamental to the wellbeing of this region and they need help and encouragement to achieve their full potentials. However, all too often our members tell us about the brick walls that they meet when attempting to access the finance necessary for them to start-up, develop and expand their businesses or merely to keep going until business picks up. Gloomy though these messages are, the good news is that sources of finance do exist, as does the help and advice to go with them if one only knows where to look.

Marie Mackintosh, Chief Executive Highland Opportunity said There is no doubt that the financial landscape is much tighter than it used to be and lenders and businesses have had to adjust. Nowadays business proposals need to be even more thoroughly researched, financial projections more robust and conventional and new financing options explored. There is a wealth and breadth of advice available through Business Gateway and Highland Opportunity as well as other business professionals. This event has been designed to bring all parties together for a frank and open discussion on how we can help each other take forward the development of Highland businesses.

Rhoda Grant MSP said When meeting small businesses throughout the Highlands I am struck by the scale of expansion and development that could be possible if finance was available to grow these businesses. This is especially the case for tourism businesses. I have met with a number of banks over the last few months in the hope of making this investment more readily available and I am now pleased to work with FSB and Business Gateway in bringing together this event which will explore access to finance, either through banks or via alternative sources that will help small businesses grow.

The Accessing Business Finance event will run from 10:30am to 15:30pm on Monday 29 April 2013. Sponsored by Business Gateway, places are free of charge and are expected to fill quickly. To register and book a place visit Alternatively ring Carrie on 01463 725940 or email carrie.macintyre[AT]


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