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Invoice discounting to fuel small business growth?

The small business sector can feel positive about 2012. The Chancellor’s autumn statement should improve SME lending and a new survey suggests optimism for next year. However, there is fresh doubt over bank SME financing. So, will more responsibility for small business finance fall to invoice finance?
After continued campaigning for better SME lending facilities in 2011, small businesses have reason to be cheerful and there is a sense of optimism for 2012. According to a new survey featured by the British Chambers of Commerce, Britain’s small businesses are optimistic that there will an upturn in business conditions in 2012. Nearly two thirds of small businesses surveyed expect revenues to increase next year, with winning new business a priority.
Such development will be warmly welcomed and, in order to accomplish this growth and build upon it, small business funding will be crucial. So, where will it come from? The Chancellor’s SME loan scheme may see banks giving more, but this is far from guaranteed, in particularly as it has emerged that banks face rising financing costs, which may inhibit their ability to lend.
So, what is the solution for SME lending facilities? Given the landscape, it seems likely that alternative SME lending products will play an increasingly significant role in the small business finance sector in 2012. Invoice finance is likely to be at the forefront of this development.
The use of invoice finance has grown markedly in 2011, as these figures from the Asset Based Finance Association show. Driving this growth is invoice discounting and factoring which are flexible SME finance products that can help companies maintain cash flow by allowing them access to capital locked in invoices.
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