Reference number: FSB PR 39/2013 Commenting on the Bank of England's decision to refocus the Funding for Lending Scheme towards small businesses from January 2014, John Allan, National Chairman, Federation of Small Businesses, said: "This is a surprising yet refreshing announcement which will make a difference to lending to thousands of our members and millions of small firms. It is something the FSB has raised with the Governor of the Bank of England and he is clearly listening. It is encouraging that he has recognised the contribution small firms make to job creation and the real economy has been given priority over the housing market, which is receiving assistance in other areas such as Help to Buy. FLS has already helped to reduce the cost of finance for businesses. What we now need is to see a focus on increasing the number of firms getting access to the finance they need to grow." Richard Asghar-Sandys, Regional Chairman for FSB Shropshire, Herefordshire & Worcestershire said: "For too long now smaller businesses, many of whom are employers, have struggled with finding the right finance product to meet their needs. I hope that this new emphasis will encourage small businesses to grow their business, employing additional staff, developing new products and service, move into export and so on. All of which will undoubtedly help our local and national economic situation."