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How alternative finance can sustain SME retailer growth

SME retailers are proving a major driver of SME sector growth and alternative finance is key to helping sustain that momentum.

New data from the Office for National Statistics show that SME retailers are outperforming larger companies, with this particular small business sector posting its 19th consecutive period of year-on-year growth in October. The sustained growth has been attributed to a number of factors, including rises in spending power and prices.

SME retailers will be targeting continued growth and, as such, they will be keenly focused on the Autumn Statement, in particular on measures concerning business rates, access to finance and reoccupation relief.

Business rate cuts are high on the agenda for SME retailers and they will be hoping that the Chancellor reverses his decision to end business rate relief in March 2015. In addition, with the UK’s first Small Business Saturday scheduled for early December, there is pressure on George Osborne to revitalise the reoccupation relief initiative he launched in last year’s Statement.

Another major issue that SME retailers will be looking out for in the Autumn Statement is improving access to small business finance. Last year, the Chancellor pledged more cash for the Start-Up Loans company and there is a clear need for a repeat of this kind of move.

The British Business Bank is making more and more use of alternative finance, including challenger banks and products such as peer-to-peer lending and invoice finance. For SME retailers and other small businesses to continue to grow, further investment in this finance sector is undoubtedly required.

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

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