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Labour Funding Plan For Business

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Labour has called for measures to channel private investment funds and public contracts towards small firms under measures similar to those introduced in the US.

Shadow business secretary Chuka Umunna said recommendations from a taskforce set up by the party to boost enterprise will be considered as part of its policy-making process.

Speaking to entrepreneurs at a meeting in Birmingham, he said: "Building an economy that works for the 99% means learning the lessons of the banking crisis.

"The Government's isolation abroad is matched only by the extent to which it is out of touch with the needs of the real economy at home. The Prime Minister postures in Europe about protecting the City but delivers nothing, and he does nothing to help investment-starved small businesses."

The taskforce, chaired by businessman Nigel Doughty, set out steps to change the relationship between the world of finance and the "real economy", said Mr Umunna.

It proposed adopting measures introduced in the US which were widely regarded as having fostered a wealth-creating enterprise economy for half a century, said Labour.

Suggestions included a new lending organisation modelled on the American Small Business Investment Company programme, that opens up access to private investment for smaller firms, a "champion agency" in Whitehall for small to medium-sized companies, and "radical" reforms of procurement policy.

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