After another hectic week the campaign made some major inroads in a number of key areas. We increased national media coverage, gained some new influential supporters and made a further major submission to a parliamentary committee.
National media coverage
After Scotland said "Aye" to APR4SMEs the story was picked up various nation-wide media outlets. The Times, The Independent, The Daily Mail and The Telegraph all covered the campaign and spread our message of protecting and supporting British SMEs.
The most thorough coverage was in the Daily Mail and This is Money. They detailed out the journey of the campaign, from the SME Banking investigation by the Competition and Markets Authority in November, to the Treasury submission earlier this month. They also featured comments from Victoria Raffé, former director of authorisations at the FCA, and a case study from a Growth Street customer, Justin Fairhall the MD at Lunchtime Company.
Submission to the Business, Innovation and Skills committee
We took the opportunity to put together a submission to the BIS Committee for their "Access to Finance" inquiry. We reiterated our concern that too much emphasis has been placed on the volume of finance available to SMEs, rather than the type of finance, and particularly the cost. We also emphasised the main tenet of the #APR4SMEs campaign - calling for industry wide legislation to support and protect SMEs.
The campaign continues to gather support. With the latest sign of support from accountancy associations ICAEW (Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales) and ICPA (Institute of Certified Practising Accountants) we have strong support from the professionals providing the binding link between business owners/directors and finances. We have also gathered hundreds of signatures for our petition and we continue to grow the campaign.