Small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) have struggled to access finance from banks for a while, with many having to turn to alternative lenders and sources to secure much-needed funding for investment.
However, the scale of this issue has not previously been explored in significant detail until now. Independent polling agency, Censuswide, surveyed 500 UK SME owners to explore whether they had access to finance and sufficient support from their bank.
The study found that almost three-quarters of SME owners surveyed believe that their bank actively discriminates against them in favour of lending to larger companies.
Whilst the headline figure on lending is concerning, what stood out significantly was the perception that banks seem reluctant to back SMEs’ plans for growth.
Higher interest rates and more cautious lenders have resulted in some businesses struggling to access funding, especially from banks, as this study has shown.
A traditional bank loan is only one means of obtaining the funding required to meet your investment plans and there are several other sources that owners can consider.
These include, but are not limited to:
- Venture capital investment, including tax-efficient Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) and Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS) funding
- Peer-to-peer finance
- Pitch events
Each of these forms of finance and funding has pros and cons that should be carefully considered.
If you are struggling to find funding for your business it is important to seek professional advice to understand the various options available to you.
Speak to our team today to find out how we can help you with your plans for growth and investment.