Helping businesses to access EU finance: single portal now includes Structural Funds
From today businesses around Europe will have easier access to much needed finance as the European Commission expands the single portal on EU finance, to include EU Structural Funds: the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the European Social Fund (ESF). Launched last month, the new single portal on EU finance provides easy, complete and up-to-date information on how entrepreneurs and SMEs can access over €100 billion of EU financing from various 2007-2013 programmes. Today’s additions will double the number of partner banks and funds to over 1 000., further strengthening a vital information source for SME financing through guarantees, loans and venture capital (MEMO/13/606).
Access to finance is one of the most pressing problems facing SMEs in Europe. In the last two years almost one-third of the SMEs applying for bank loans were refused or ended up getting less than requested. This month's European Small Business Finance Outlook confirms that the business environment for European SMEs is getting worse and euro area banks have tightened their credit standards. Information and access to EU funding is more important for businesses than ever before. Structural funds are already providing help for SMEs of around 70 billion euros for the 2007-13 period.
MEMO/13/393 - Improving access to finance for SMEs: key to economic recovery