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Invoice finance popularity grows again as 2012 Budget looms

As the country gears up for the 2012 Budget and awaits details of the Chancellor’s national loan guarantee scheme, calls for improved SME finance are growing louder, while the invoice finance market continues to grow.

With only a few days until the Chancellor gets his red briefcase out, the British Chambers of Commerce have called on the government to deliver a Budget for business. The organisation has proposed a range of measures to support business growth, including the scrapping of the planned business rate rise, the introduction of a capital allowance scheme for medium-sized companies and a scheme to motivate employers to take on more young people.

The British Chambers of Commerce has also reiterated its support for an SME bank, an effective small business credit easing programme and widespread deregulation regarding SME operating practices.

It is clear that this year’s Budget will be a very important one for small businesses and one from which these companies expect a lot, in particular in terms of improving SME lending facilities. However, while all eyes will be on the government, there is evidence that SMEs are increasingly taking the initiative when it comes to securing finance.

New figures from the Asset Based Finance Association show that use of invoice finance by small businesses in the UK and Ireland continues to grow. The use of invoice finance products such as invoice discounting and factoring grew by 7% in 2011 according to the association, against a 3.7% decline in net lending to firms. Tellingly, a key factor behind the continued growth is the ongoing struggle by SMEs to access bank finance.

To what degree the Chancellor delivers a Budget for business next week remains to be seen, but what is more clear is that the role of alternative SME lending facilities, such as invoice finance, is growing increasingly important.

To find out more about A&T Business Associates services, contact us on 01903 602211 or info@atbusinessassociates.co.uk.

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