Government needs to do more for SME finance and support, businesses say

A study compiled by Bibby Financial Services shows that half of the 1,000 SME managers and directors questioned do not feel that the budget has done enough to help businesses grow over the coming year.

Further statistics reveal that only six per cent believe that the new Business Bank will be materially beneficial to their company.

Despite the apathy felt towards the government, a separate study shows that a third of business owners have posted an increase in orders during the second quarter of the year and 40 per cent state a rise in new customers during the same period.

Bibby Financial Services cites the fact that, while back in 2009 some 20 per cent of SMEs had cash available to invest, this figure now stands at only 2 per cent.

A lack of cash flow due to late payments, it says, is one of the biggest challenges faced in today’s economy. A turn away from traditional forms of finance such as bank loans has been noted, on the back of the 77 per cent of SME managers and directors surveyed admitting that they have applied for funding and been refused the desired amount.

Angela Goudry, owner of Chillfast Couriers, comments, 'We hear lots of reports in the media about funding being made available for small businesses, such as the Funding for Lending Scheme, but it doesn't seem to be making its way from the banks to the businesses that need it most.

'Small businesses need to look elsewhere for funding to help them grow, such as invoice finance, which is available and offers support and flexibility.'

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