Business confidence in the UK is not at its best, and anything to improve it would definitely be a welcome development. Access to finance options is one key area which could provide some of the answer. With the ongoing crisis of the Eurozone, along with continually sluggish economic growth, many SMEs are not feeling the most optimistic. However, despite the fact that banks are increasing the stringency of their lending requirements, an increasing number of alternative finance options are available giving businesses more ways to get hold of the finance that they need.
UK businesses have been susceptible to the trends in the European markets, whether through decreased exports or struggling suppliers, or just through the economic sense of doom and gloom. The lack of confidence that’s engendered by this does nothing for growth, as many are put off making investments and planning expansions. This has also impacted on their ability to have access to the finance that’s often so desperately needed.
Making sure businesses have access to finance options is essential in maintaining and growing business confidence. As such, finance options have an important part to play not only in local companies and their day to day running but in the wider confidence within the UK business community.
There are many alternative finance options available. There are government schemes such as the National Loan Guarantee Scheme, offering finance at 1% less than average interest rates, and the Enterprise Finance Guarantee scheme, an option for businesses with an innovative idea but without the security to get conventional funding.
As well as government backed schemes, there are a host of other, independent lenders that are able to make a real difference to the availability of funding for SMEs. Chief among these is invoice finance, offering small businesses the opportunity to unlock the funds tied up in unpaid invoices, helping to relieve late payment and cash flow issues.
With so many finance options available, hopefully we’ll see a boost to business confidence in the near future.