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Ministers listen to business concerns in Milton Keynes

21 April 2009
Jonathan Shaw

Jonathan Shaw MP (left) Regional Minister for the South East with Isobel Thompson from Morrck and James Brathwaite, Chairman, SEEDA.

SEEDA Chairman, James Brathwaite CBE and South East Regional Minister, Jonathan Shaw, and today heard how business support and bank finance are helping South East companies, and asked about any additional support needed.

They hosted two meetings in Milton Keynes to explore how the current economic climate is affecting people and businesses. The fourth meeting of the South East Economic Delivery Council (SEEDC) was followed by a Regional Lending Seminar with Gareth Thomas, Minister for Trade, Development and Consumer Affairs.

SEEDC considered how best to offer solutions in terms of support from banks and access to funding, to housing and regeneration. Members were also keen to share lessons and best practice across the South East.

On a local level, initiatives and support packages already available and working in the city were identified, together with what additional support might be needed.

The Regional Lending Seminar, run in conjunction with the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform built on the Government’s 'Real Help Now' initiative, informed local businesses on help available to support them through the downturn. Advisers from Business Link and representatives from banks were on hand with practical advice and assistance.

James Brathwaite, said: "Between us, we are working hard to ensure that the Government understands the vital contribution businesses in the South East make to the UK economy. SEEDA is uniquely placed to pull together business leaders, expert advisers from Business Link and government ministers, in order to explain to local businesses what help is available to support them through the economic downturn.

"We want to ensure that the South East is in the best position it can be when it comes out of the recession. Without a doubt, when the good times come, the South East will be ready for them."

Jonathan Shaw said: "Milton Keynes is a key centre for investment and growth in our region and as such I was very keen to hold these important events in the city. It is hugely important for us to engage with businesses and other local organisations, especially during the downturn, and SEEDC provides an ideal platform for us to tackle the issues which are important at a local level.

"I congratulate Milton Keynes Council and the organisations working hard to address the economic downturn locally. I’m encouraged by the fact the city has recently held an Economic Summit and developed an Economy Task Group. During this difficult period it is important the region shares best practices, which is exactly why it’s so important for the SEEDC members to hear how such initiatives are working."

For media enquiries, please contact:

Tanya Reed, Media Relations Manager, SEEDA
Tel: 01483 484200
Email: pressoffice@seeda.co.uk

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