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Export Growth for SMEs

Exports have long been hailed by the government as a way to combat slow growth in the UK economy. However, this needs support  from the banks, as many companies need extra cash flow in order to facilitate growth. New figures have shown that exports are growing – but this just underlines the support that businesses need from the banks as well as the importance of alternative finance measures, such as invoice finance.

Export Growth

Figures show that manufacturing exports have increased by 36% since 2009 and are forecast to grow again this year. This contrasts to slim to nil growth in the UK economy as a whole, which highlights the importance of exports to recovery.

The Forum for Private Business (FPB) is calling for banks to relax lending criteria for those businesses looking to expand into overseas operations. It also wants the government to ensure that the fund for UK Trade and Investment is not cut so that it can continue to help UK firms looking to overseas markets.

The government has even championed exporting as a way for UK firms to work themselves towards consistent growth. The FPB senior policy adviser Phil McCabe said,’The Government has made much of exporting, and this latest research suggests UK manufacturers have certainly been taking notice.’

‘But it is now down to the banks to do their bit as well and make sure that firms wanting to export have access to affordable credit to finance such operations. Without the cash to fund these types of operations they can’t happen.’

Alternatives to bank finance

If your business is looking to take advantage of this mini export boom, then having the right cash flow is essential. If bank loans are not looking like a likely prospect, then turning to alternative means of finance is also an option.

Invoice finance can help to raise cash against the value of unpaid customer balances. If your company issues payment terms of 30, 60 or 90 days, then by using factoring and invoice discounting you can release 90% of the invoice value within 24 hours. With late payments often dragging on for SMEs, getting access to this working capital can make it easier to fund expansion – or exports.

 

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