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SME Confidence on the Rise

A new survey has revealed 71% of small businesses to be confident in their ability to raise finance.

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The research was undertaken on behalf of Platform Black – the invoice finance company that recently claimed the title of “Alternative Commercial Lender of the Year” at the Credit Today Awards. The survey was carried out by IFF Research – and gauged the attitudes of 500 managing directors, financial directors and business owners with up to 250 employees. Over 70% of the companies questioned stated themselves “very confident” or “fairly confident” in their ability to raise finance sufficient to their needs over the next year.

Louise Beaumont, Co-Founder of Platform Black, commented on the findings:

“This is great news for the UK economy and shows the perception of restricted access to finance is receding at last. We welcome the fact that access to finance is no longer placing a choke chain around SME growth and its prospects for the future.”

“Interestingly, recent figures from the Bank of England for the last quarter show that net lending to SMEs by banks was down by £0.7bn and yet the Alternative Finance market is growing significantly, with the peer-to-peer lending industry providing more than £1.5 billion to businesses by May this year*. Clearly, a significant proportion of new money is coming from alternative lenders rather than the banks showing that Alternative Finance is offering businesses a real choice for equity, loans and invoice finance – the bank is no longer the first, last and only port of call.”

Below are listed more key findings from the survey:

  • Business confidence did not seem to vary sector to sector.

    • 73% of companies within the construction and manufacturing industries had confidence in their ability to raise funds.

    • 72% within business services had confidence in their ability to raise funds.

    • 66% within transport, retail and distribution sectors had confidence in their ability to raise funds.

  • What did appear to affect business confidence was company size in terms of employees and turnover.

    • Business confidence was higher among medium sized businesses (of 50 to 249 employees) at 80%. Six in ten of these medium businesses (62%) had a turnover of greater than £6.5 million.

    • By comparison, micro businesses (1-9 employees) had significantly lower business confidence levels at 69%. Three quarters of these businesses (75%) had a turnover of less than £632,000.

In related news, Platform Black has now scooped another award – claiming the title of “Supply Chain Finance Firm of the Year UK" at the 2014 M&A Awards. It’s the second year running that the platform has won the award. Platform Black has now channeled upwards of £65 million into SMEs – and is playing a significant role in stimulating the boost in business confidence. 


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Louise Beaumont

Head of Public Affairs and Marketing

GLI Finance Limited

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