TV Dragon demands more help with raising finance for small firms

From Enterprise Tsar to small-screen Dragon: there must be something in the air prompting familiar faces to throw their two cents' worth on small businesses' finance woes into the ring.

After The Apprentice star Lord Alan Sugar was pilloried for deeming struggling small-firm owners "moaners", fellow entrepreneur Duncan Bannatyne has spoken out in support of the very same recession-hit demographic.

There should be better and easier access to business credit cards and bank accounts, he's declared, as Britain's smaller companies attempt to stay afloat.

Dragons' Den star Bannatyne knows what it feels like to face uncertainty, is the thing. As he reveals in the Telegraph, he once had to borrow £30,000 on three personal credit cards – as well as selling his house and car – because of difficulties raising finance for his fledgling enterprise.

Now the successful (multi-millionaire) founder and chairman of Bannatyne Fitness, he nonetheless understands that, to most small business owners, banks seem intent on making life particularly difficult - even as many of them report "bumper profits".

"Banks could do more to help small businesses and their employees who will be seeking assurances over the festive period," he concludes.

Do you hear that, bank bosses?