Small business and new start-ups will receive more support following the launch of two new business loan schemes.

Nearly 200 people, including leaders of local businesses and representatives from the council, attended a business networking event at Wimbledon Studios last week to see the launch of both schemes.

The Merton Business Loan Fund (MBLF) will provide between £10,000 and £22,000 to small businesses and will be delivered on behalf of the council by leading business finance and support organisation the Greater London Enterprise.

A Micro Finance Loan Fund (MFLF) was also announced which will offer small loans of between £500 and £10,000 to support entrepreneurs wanting to start up a small business, delivered by micro-finance specialists the Fredericks Foundation.

The event also marked the launch of the Merton Business Support Service, which will provide expert advice and support for entrepreneurs to help them develop and expand their businesses as well as shop front improvement grants to improve Merton’s high streets and local parades.

Councillor Stephen Alambritis, leader of Merton Council, said: "The council is committed to supporting businesses in Merton so they can develop, grow and create new jobs – which is why we are funding business loans and other business support schemes.

"It will also give business a chance at a time when banks aren’t readily lending to them. "By providing these loans and other business support we will give businesses that are ready to expand the chance to do so".

The package of support also included two new business loan schemes.