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What can shelter SMEs from stiffening headwinds?

Despite a more benign than expected reaction to Brexit, SMEs are facing stiffening market headwinds. Alternative finance can help shelter these companies from the fiscal gale.

As yet, the impact of Brexit on British businesses hasn’t been as calamitous as many predicted. However, it’s early days and the lack of clarity is unsettling, so much so that companies are still very much in the brace position. It’s very much a waiting game for small business owners. In the meantime, there are other headwinds to concentrate minds.

Despite countless pledges and promises, late payment remains a huge problem for SMEs, costing them millions of pounds every year and in some cases driving them to the wall. The Minister for Small Business, Consumers and Corporate Responsibility has recently publicly applauded the Prompt Payment Code. This is nice but will hardly reassure small businesses that progress is being made given the general skepticism toward the scheme. Yet more water treading might be a common conclusion.

Elsewhere, new data from The Pensions Regulator show that auto enrolment is continuing apace, with 200,000 employers now enrolled. While such efficiency is a positive and praiseworthy, it will remind a lot of small businesses of their own looming deadlines and the costs associated with compliance.

Other pressures on small business cashflow and capital include cyber security – the Wada hack has again underlined the extent of the threat – and fulfilling duties in line with the National Living Wage.

Small business owners can get some protection from these fiscal headwinds by making the likes of invoice finance, asset finance, peer-to-peer lending and crowdfunding part of their financial planning. At a time of uncertainty, financial services need to be flexible, easily and quickly accessible and affordable. Alternative finance ticks all of these boxes.

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

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