Business Diary: Santander's loan to hit the sweet spot

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The Independent Online

Who says the banks won't support growing businesses? Santander's Thames Valley Corporate Banking Centre is proud to announce that it has agreed a new £12m lending facility so that one such business can expand. Krispy Kreme UK – the self-styled "leading retailer of premium quality doughnuts" will be able to open 40 new stores as a result. Sometimes, greed really is good.

Vince moves into poll position with punters

Good news for Vince Cable following Tuesday's showdown with the other would-be chancellors. After the debate, William Hill took a string of bets on the Liberal Democrat Treasury spokesman being the man to deliver the next Budget. The bookmaker has slashed its odds on that eventuality from 12/1 to 7/1. "He is now the best-backed contender for the role," Hills' man explains.

Standard Chartered back in the running

Standard Chartered bank has opened entries for the Great City Race it sponsors every year – this year's charity bash is in July. Richard Holmes, the bank's CEO for Europe, describes the 5km race as "an enjoyable fitness challenge", though his own staff know he takes it a little more seriously.

Levi's puts safety first for rail workers

A new launch for the UK's railway maintenance workers: Levi Strauss is to start selling railroad boots on these shores from May. Based on the shoes worn by Californian railways workers in the 19th century, the footwear, branded 1853, is really easy to take off... just in case the wearer finds themselves with a foot caught under a track as a train hurtles towards them. Pushing nostalgia a little too far?

WD-40: the scent that everyone wants

Shock news from the makers of the indispensable lubricant WD-40, who tells us they plan to move into the fragrance market. "The company is launching an aftershave, after being inundated with requests from not only male but female users who love the smell." The diary is a little suspicious, mind you, given that the launch date for this new scent is tomorrow, April Fool's Day.

Number of the day: 1.6m

The number of people who watched the Ask the Chancellors debate on Channel 4 on Monday evening.

businessdiary@independent.co.uk

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