Research reveals shortage of support for SMEs

Rob Harris

Recent statistics show that 93.3% of businesses in the South West of England feel that recent government funding initiatives such as Funding for Lending and Project Merlin have not helped their businesses.

The findings, from the latest Close Brothers Business Barometer, also revealed that only 3.3% of SME owner managers believe the government support small and medium-sized businesses enough whilst a staggering 86.6% disagree or believe more could be done.

Government funding initiatives were developed to help ease financing struggles for businesses throughout the UK.

However, despite having a number of different funding options available, with amounts between £1000 to £1million apparently available, the majority of businesses asked saw little or no improvement from the initiatives and felt government could do more to support SMEs.

South West businesses felt strongly about the issue, with 48.3% of respondents stating they think the government could do more to support business owners.

Rob Harris of Close Brothers Invoice Finance comments: “At a time when growth should be encouraged, it is worrying to see that the majority of local businesses surveyed feel a lack of support from the government.

“SMEs are the foundation of our economy and their growth should absolutely be supported. However, with the lack of confidence in government funding initiatives and traditional forms of lending often hard to secure, businesses need to be reassured that funding is still available.”

The latest Business Barometer also demonstrates that 21.7% of the businesses asked, plan to raise their finance over the next 12 months.

Whilst the majority are considering attempting to raise funds through bank loans or overdrafts only 15.4% plan to do so through invoice finance.