As part of a renewed focus on finance options for small local businesses, Rory Stewart MP has urged Cumbria County Council to back the creation of a new ‘Cumbria Business Boost’ scheme, designed to bring the benefits of peer-to-business lending to Cumbrian businesses. The peer-to-business approach to business finance has grown substantially since the financial crisis, as borrowers and savers alike look to disintermediate the banks and benefit from improved interest rates. The ‘Cumbria Business Boost’ scheme would create a mechanism for local savers to directly support local businesses, while at the same time bringing in a new source of external capital. The operational details of the scheme are currently being finalised, and it is hoped that a launch may be feasible some time during the second quarter.

Rory said : ‘I am very excited by the prospects of extending the use of peer-to-business lending within Cumbria, and am optimistic that our new Cumbria Business Boost proposals will provide a straightforward support mechanism for this approach. This is likely to be the first area of focus for the new Small Business Finance Steering Group I am setting up, and I am hopeful that it will benefit from widespread support.’

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