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Research by marketplace lender finds small businesses backing Conservatives




By Ryan Weeks on 2nd May 2017


Funding Circle says small businesses three times more likely to vote Conservative over Labour.

 

Funding Circle, the world’s largest online marketplace for small business loans, has published the results of one of its biggest surveys to date. The survey, which was carried out in late April, received 2,300 responses – all from businesses which have either borrowed from or expressed an interest in borrowing from Funding Circle. The main finding was that small businesses are approximately three times more likely to vote Conservative versus Labour in the upcoming election.

 

41 per cent of respondents indicated they’d be voting Conservative, while just 13 per cent will be voting Labour. The Lib Dems came in a close third with 9 per cent.

 

The Conservative “win” comes despite 49 per cent of respondents saying they voted Remain in last year’s EU referendum.

 

The most important policy issue in the minds of respondents was tax, interestingly coming in ahead of Brexit. 40 per cent of small business see this as the most important policy area in the upcoming election.

 

“Future UK prosperity depends on small businesses, as they provide much needed job creation and economic growth,” said James Meekings (pictured), co-founder and UK managing director of Funding Circle.

 

Funding Circle’s survey also showed that 70 per cent of small businesses expect their turnover to increase within the next 12 months, versus just 6 per cent who believe turnover will decrease. Optimism of this kind has to be taken with a pinch of salt, of course, but Meekings said that it was “heartening” to hear.

 

The very largest peer-to-peer/marketplace lenders are increasingly exposed to macro-economic events. Brexit effectively killed off a multi-billion pound funding programme between the European Investment Bank and Funding Circle. On the other hand, bank retrenchment in the aftermath of the result has repeatedly been said to be creating opportunities for fintech firms and alternative lenders.

 

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