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How SMEs can stop losing out on business opportunities

Access to finance is a long-standing issue for SMEs but a new study has put a real price on the failure to secure funding, and the critical role alternative finance has to play in plugging this gap.

According to figures from the new Aldermore Futures Attitudes report, almost a fifth of small businesses lost out on at least one piece of new business in the last year as a result of a lack of finance. What this equates to for companies is on average missed income of almost £78,000. The businesses worst hit by an inability to secure funding were those with between 50 and 299 employees.

This eye-opening report certainly pulls no punches and puts a question mark against SME sector ambition and the commentators that foresee an upturn in performance ahead. Business owners may have solid growth goals but are they really achievable if they’re still being hamstrung by a lack of access to finance?

However, the report is not all gloom and doom. Indeed, it clearly points to the light. As traditional lenders have remained cautious, alternative finance has stepped into the gap and helped business owners hit their targets. The report’s findings suggest that services such as invoice finance, asset finance, peer-to-peer lending and crowdfunding have a pivotal role to play in ensuring that businesses can take every opportunity that comes their way.

New figures from the Association of Asset Based Finance illustrate how popular asset-based finance has become. According to the association, asset-based lending reached £22.2 billion in 2016, up 13% compared with 2015. It claims that the record level of asset-based finance use is evidence of the continued move away from traditional lending services to fund growth and merger and acquisition activity.

As Brexit crunch time approaches and British businesses prepare themselves for the real crunch of Brexit, companies need to be able to take every opportunity. Missing out on income could send firms to the wall. Raising awareness of all the finance services on offer is essential if the SME sector is to fulfil its ambitions.

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

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