A FIFTH of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have missed out on at least one business opportunity in the past 12 months due to difficulties accessing finance, research claims.
Aldermore Bank’s Future Attitudes report, based on a survey of more than 1,000 businesses, found 19 per cent of SMEs, equating to 1.04 million firms, are missing out on income worth on average £77,651 per year.
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Medium-sized businesses – those with between 50 and 249 employees – were the worst hit, with 32 per cent saying that they have been significantly affected by not having access to the funding they need, amounting to an average loss of £112,508 of income.
Just 14 per cent of respondents said they have sought alternative finance such as invoice finance or crowdfunding, while the rest use traditional bank lending, including overdrafts and credit cards.
“With more than two fifths of SMEs saying that their key business priority for 2017 is achieving business growth, it is frustrating to see that so many firms are missing out on business opportunities due to a lack of appropriate funding,” said Carl D’Ammassa, group managing director of business finance at Aldermore.
“In our experience, UK SMEs have retained their ambitions to grow despite the uncertain economic environment, so it is vital that the finance industry gives them every chance to succeed.
“As a lender focused on supporting SMEs of all shapes and sizes, we also want to educate businesses about other more bespoke, flexible and cost-efficient funding options available to them such as asset finance and invoice finance.”