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Why raising awareness is the next step for alternative finance

The rise of alternative finance has been prolific. No longer on the periphery, it’s fast cementing a mainstream status. But to take this next step, there must be investment in raising awareness.

The Close Brothers latest Business Barometer revealed that a staggering 69% of UK SMEs need alternative finance options to realise their growth potential. This statistics says a lot about small business attitudes to traditional lenders and the degree to which the government and the private sector has to do more to educate small business owners about the funding options available to them.

While the UK is lauded for start-up and small business-friendly environment, at the same these companies currently face significant pressure on capital and cashflow. Putting to one side the uncertainty being generated by the EU referendum, SMEs face rising costs associated with broadband connectivity, cybersecurity, pension scheme provision and the National Living Wage. It is not difficult to surmise that a significant amount of SMEs need alternative funding options in order to manage, at least in part, these financial demands.

Traditional lenders have yet to meaningfully move away from the cautiousness that has long defined their attitude to SMEs and small business trust levels toward these institutions remain low. Alternative finance services such as invoice finance, asset-based finance, peer-to-peer lending and crowdfunding offer the accessibility, flexibility and affordability that these businesses need to survive in today’s business climate.

Whatever the outcome of the vote on 23 June, SMEs will be desperately seeking some stability after the volatility of last six months and based on the findings of the Close Brothers report, it is clear to whom they are looking for it. This is why raising awareness of alternative finance is so important to the UK business sector and economy.

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

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