A £100m invoice finance fund is being launched by Yorkshire Bank to help small businesses tackle longer bill payment times.
The bank said the launch followed research which showed that small enterprises are facing an average seven-week wait for monthly invoices to be paid, a delay which, in some cases, is threatening their survival.
The bank, which assists thousands of SMEs throughout the region, has ring-fenced the £100m cash flow finance package from its £1bn Business Expansion Fund launched last autumn (2013).
The £100m fund is now available to both new and existing Yorkshire Bank customers through its confidential invoice discounting service.
Yorkshire Bank, head of invoice finance, Martin Rothera, said: "This £100m fund underlines our enduring commitment to the invoice finance market in the current tough business climate, and will provide real support for many businesses which face difficulties through no fault of their own.
"Late payments can put immense pressure on small businesses as cash flow dries up, leading to pressure on their ability to pay their own bills."