Chamber round table breakfast consultation with Dartford businesses on the forthcoming Regional Growth Fund bid
On Thursday 7th June, Kent Invicta Chamber hosted a round table breakfast consultation with Dartford businesses to invite comments and opinion on the forthcoming Regional Growth Fund bid being submitted by KCC and the Thames Gateway Partnership.
Facilitated by Tudor price, Business Development Manager for the Chamber, business owners took full advantage of the opportunity to grill County and Local Authority representatives about the nature of the proposal and expressed constructive views on how it might be implemented should the bid be successful.
Interestingly, the collective opinion was in favour of a loan scheme rather than grants although attached to this viewpoint were some key issues surrounding the applicant criteria and appetite for risk. Firstly, it was suggested that the final look of the product should be clear and unambigious so that businesses can evaluate very quickly whether accessing this fund would be a worthwhile use of time and resources. Secondly, the group focused on the lending risk and pointed out that access to commercial finance was mainly obstructed by the current attitude to risk. It was suggested that if the Local Authority took a more favourable approach to risk than the banks, then it would be “truly supporting” the mantra of growth.
All in all a healthy and positive debate that provided businesses with a rare opportunity to shape future government assistance.