THE trailblazing Banking on Essex scheme has been expanded to offer overdraft facilities to eligible businesses.

Essex County Council and Santander Corporate Banking launched Banking on Essex last year, giving loans of up to £100,000 to small companies to help weather the recession.

While banks are reported to be scaling back on credit approvals for small and medium businesses, Banking on Essex is now offering overdrafts of up to £100,000 to viable businesses.

Lord Hanningfield, Conser-vative leader of Essex County Council, said: “It is vital during this difficult financial climate to support entrepreneurs.

“By extending the product offering to include overdraft facilities, we can help address the key financial issues local businesses are facing.”

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