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Alternative business finance gives SMEs a boost

It’s what A&T Business Associates has been saying for some time now: new data from the commercial vehicle finance industry highlights a growing trend among SMEs for alternative business finance. At the same time, recent figures point towards a rise in manufacturing output in the UK.
The Finance & Leasing Association has released figures that show a marked increase in the number of SMEs seeking alternative forms of business finance. Commercial vehicle finance was up by 32% in Q1 2011, and growth was recorded in finance provided for business equipment, machinery and IT supplies.
Interestingly, at the same as SMEs were making more use of facilities such as invoice discounting and factoring and leasing and asset finance, the country recorded a healthy rise in manufacturing output. According to the EEF industry federation and BDO, manufacturing grew by 2.3% in H1 2011, well above the rate of general economic growth. Export demand is driving forward momentum and the federation expects manufacturing to grow by over 3% for the whole year, which is twice the forecast rate of the economy.
A rise in the use of alternative business finance and an increase in manufacturing activity can’t be put down to mere coincidence. These figures show the positive impact that a more proactive approach to business banking from SMEs is having on the general health of the country’s industry.
Of course, it’s not the time to rest on laurels. Recent news from the wool industry has highlighted how rising commodity prices are continuing to put pressure on businesses, including SMEs. Floods and droughts in Australia have meant that wool prices have doubled, which is putting the squeeze on profits and cash flow, both at smaller tailors and boutiques and high street stores. Having access to services such as invoice finance will be crucial.
To find out more about A&T Business Associates services, contact us on 01903 602211 or info@atbusinessassociates.co.uk.

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