Demand for debt finance on the rise in the North West

Almost nine in 10 (89 per cent) of small business finance advisors in the North West say that additional debt finance will be required by smaller businesses as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a new study from Ipsos MORI and the British Business Bank, published today.

Demand for finance in the region is seen as strong across all smaller businesses in development stages.

The survey looked at the regional advisory communities, including accountants, lawyers and business advisors, perceptions of demand and supply of finance, and how well it is working for the smaller business community.

Beyond exploring the advisory community’s predictions over the most popular types of finance in the coming months, around half (52 per cent) of participants believed that demand for finance outweighs supply in the region.

The greatest demand in the region is seen to be coming from smaller businesses ‘surviving uncertain times’ and those scaling up according to the study, standing at 95 per cent and 84 per cent respectively.

While debt finance is predicted to be the highest in demand from smaller businesses, growth and early-stage equity finance are also seen to be closely in demand over the next 12-18 months, at 77 per cent and 74 per cent respectively, as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Dr Sophie Dale-Black, UK Network Director, North of England at British Business Bank, said: “Moving out of the pandemic, it is pleasing to see that the demand for finance from smaller businesses is expected to remain strong in the North West as we look towards a period of recovery and growth.

“We know that debt finance is in high demand, and in turn supporting smaller businesses manage existing and new debt is an important priority. To help, we’ve created our ‘Dealing with debt’ online hub – an impartial information resource for business owners. For businesses who took out a Bounce Back Loan, the Pay As You Grow (PAYG) scheme is also in place ready to support with repayment options.”

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