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What is the finance helping SMEs battle market headwinds?

So far this year has been a challenging one for small business owners, but despite market headwinds, there are signs of SME sector resilience. Alternative finance is one the factors behind this drive.

According to new figures from the National Association of Commercial Finance Brokers, small business borrowing rose in March. The value of finance applications increased by 7% to £86,000 compared to the previous month. This upturn came despite the triggering of article 50 and a Spring Budget that was widely perceived as anti-business.

Combine this with other alternative finance sector news in recent months that has shown continued growth in the popularity of non-bank finance services, and a natural conclusion to form is that services such as invoice finance, asset finance, peer-to-peer lending and crowdfunding are playing a critical part in maintaining SME sector momentum.

Of course, the market landscape in 2017 may still change, in particular in light of the decision to hold a general election in June. Opinion is divided over the impact of Brexit. The weakening pound is fuelling exports but concern is growing over recruitment in the UK, with many EU workers, an essential workforce for many SMEs, choosing to leave the country.

Whatever the outcome of the general election, it seems small business owners will need to maintain their resilience for some time to come. If the entrepreneurial hubs around the UK (including Portsmouth; recently voted the fifth best place to start a business) are to continue breeding the success that is so vital to wider economic growth, SMEs need significant support.

Part of this support system is accessible, affordable and flexible finance, and this is where, as recent figures show, alternative finance has such a key role to play.

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

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