The financial lifeline thrown out for MG Rover suppliers should be available for companies hit by the closure of Peugeot's plant at Ryton in Coventry, claim chartered accountants.
The #20 million transition fund created by Advantage West Midlands should be made available to all struggling businesses in the region, not just a select few, said the Instituteof Chartered Accountants.
Business turnaround specialist John Kelly, the new president of the Institute's Birmingham and West Midlands district society, said: "We need this fund as soon as possible. Every delay means more business failures and jobs lost.
"If the DTI rejects the idea of expanding the scope of the fund, jobs will lost unnecessarily and we will see even more jobs exported to eastern Europe and the Far East."
Mr Kelly added: "One argument used by the DTI is that there just isn't the demand. From our experience working on the ground in the West Midlands, there is demand and I'd be happy to facilitate a meeting with local businesses so that the DTI can see this for themselves."
Regional development agency Advantage West Midlands is understood to have discussed expanding the activities of the Advantage Transition Bridge Fund to permit it to help companies other than those hit by the MG Rover crash, according to the ICA.
But so far the DTI has not given the development agency the go-ahead.
Given the significant increase in company failures recently, it is critically important to extend the availability of the fund, said Mr Kelly.
He said the idea for the fund was his, and in its original form is was to be available to all companies in the region that needed funding, to assist with either a transformation of a business or to survive a financial crisis.
"The extension of the fund is particularly important for the West Midlands," said Mr Kelly. "Not only are company failures on the increase but our area has many traditional manufacturing businesses that still need to transform the way in which they operate to compete in a world market.
"Many of these companies have already reduced their workforces significantly and are now affected by pension shortfalls."
Mr Kelly believes there is worse to come.
"If we are to compete with other countries where wages can be as little as 20 per cent of ours, we need modern, purpose-built facilities," he said.
"Many of the major manufacturers in our area are internationally-owned and will look to transfer production to purpose-built factories in countries with low wages and overheads.
"All this comes at a time when some of the banks are taking a much harder line when a customer faces financial difficulties.
"Some of them seek significant fees due to the increased risk and the company has little choice but to agree because the chances of rebanking are limited. The existence of a fund will assist such companies in their negotiations with their banks.
"These funds are not 'soft loans'. They attract a proper rate of interest.
"I urge the DTI to agree to extend this fund now rather than wait for the next MG Rover to hit the headlines."