Shadow Chancellor calls for more help for small and medium sized York businesses
Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer, Ed Balls, joined me to visit Autohorn Limited at York Railway Station this afternoon, to congratulate the company on getting one of its credit lines reinstated with the bank.
Autohorn contacted me when a large bank withdrew their funding facility, despite the fact that Autohorn is a successful company that has been trading profitably and had never missed a payment with the bank, failed an audit or failed to comply with any of the bank’s terms. I contacted the Bank on Autohorn’s behalf, and raised the issue with the Business, Innovation and Skills Minister, Mark Prisk. Last month the Bank agreed to reinstate Autohorn’s credit line.
Autohorn is a successful car hire business in York, employing 60+ people. They currently run 750+ vehicles, purchasing them for Daily Rental & Leasing. They have the Europcar franchise at York Railway Station, and specialise in providing highly economical and hybrid cars for individuals and companies. Now that they have secured the finance to increase their fleet, the company is in a position where it can grow and employ more people.
It is important for the government to encourage small and medium sized businesses to grow, but they can only do this if they can raise the necessary finance from the banks. I am glad that in Autohorn’s case the bank reconsidered their decision and agreed to reinstate the finance, but in this climate of economic insecurity it is important that the banks play their part and help businesses like Autohorn.
I am pleased that Ed Balls was able to accompany me today and that he has pledged to raise concerns about banks’ behaviour.
Photo: left to right – Lee Underwood (Managing Director of Autohorn), Hugh Bayley MP, Helen Lambeth (Europcar’s Head of Finance) and Shadow Chancellor, Ed Balls