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Why alternative finance is vital to post Brexit SME growth

Evidence is growing that export trade will be a key growth area for UK SMEs, in the short term at least. However, despite claims, question marks remain over the impact of Brexit. This is why alternative finance is so vital to SMEs.

The results of a new study by Western Union Business Solutions have underlined a growing belief among small businesses that they will see an increase in overseas trade activity. Almost half of the 1,000 companies questioned as part of the research expect international business to grow. The sentiment is an increasingly popular one as businesses look to take advantage of the weak pound.

Such confidence is seeing more and more commentators declare that Brexit has had minimal or no impact on small businesses. The latest Close Brothers Business Barometer has produced figures that show nearly 75% of SMEs have felt no repercussions from the June vote. This is welcome news but being so definitive is arguably misplaced: the process of leaving the EU has yet to begin and the prospect of a hard Brexit is looming.

Therefore, despite the better-than-expected-level of market stability, uncertainty still lies ahead and this is why businesses need to have a solid financial platform in place as they target new opportunities and guard against any delayed fallout from Brexit. As Santander’s latest SME funding  partnership suggests, alternative finance has an important role to play in ensuring small businesses have the access to finance they need.

Santander UK has established the £200,000 Changemaker Fund in partnership with equity crowdfunding platform Crowdfunder to invest in businesses, charities and community projects in the UK. This announcement follows news of a spike in invoice finance use over the last 12 months, with the amount secured by small businesses recently breaking the £20 billion barrier.

While optimism is growing in the UK SME sector, it would be wrong to think that business owners no longer have to be mindful of the impact of Brexit. This is why alternative finance, and its flexibility, accessibility and affordability, is an essential part of the business funding puzzle, whether the goal is capturing foreign sales or fighting hard for domestic ones.

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

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