Barclays announces £500m fund to help small businesses
A bank has announced plans for a new £500 million fund to support smaller businesses in Scotland and help plug current finance gaps.
Barclays said its fund to help small and medium enterprises (SMEs) grow will double its support for firms in Scotland, having invested more than £500 million to date.
Economy minister Keith Brown welcomed the announcement, saying access to funding is critical for smaller firms and will help boost the economy.
He added: "This is positive news and will be a real boost for Scotland's SMEs, which are the lifeblood of our economy.
"We know it is crucial that viable SMEs are able to access a range of finance to start up and grow their business, and I hope many businesses can benefit from today's announcement from Barclays.
"Scotland is already a great place to do business but the Scottish Government is determined to maintain a strongly-competitive business environment and ensure the conditions are right for SMEs to flourish. "
Scottish Enterprise chief executive Lena Wilson said: "This investment by Barclays is fantastic news for SMEs across Scotland.
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"Access to funding is absolutely critical to enabling SMEs to thrive at home and around the world, supporting them to invest in innovation, workforce development and international activity.
"We will continue to work closely with Barclays and our partners to support company growth."
The new fund forms part of the bank's expansion plans in Scotland.
Jamie Grant, head of business and corporate banking for Barclays Scotland, said: "We believe we are equipped to help even more businesses realise their ambitions.
"We have a strong history of building relationships with many of the country's leading companies while our global reach means we have the knowledge and expertise to help Scotland's businesses compete on a world stage."