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Accessing finance getting more difficult for SMEs

08 Apr 2024

Accessing finance is becoming more difficult for a large number of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), according to new data from the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC).

The BCC's latest survey of business conditions found that around half of businesses felt that getting funding had become more challenging over the past three years. By contrast, only 13% said it was getting easier.

The survey also reveals that 70% of firms – mainly SMEs – have not accessed finance from an external provider in the past 12 months.

Jonny Haseldine, Policy Manager at the BCC, said: 'As SMEs across the UK continue to deal with ongoing economic pressures, accessing crucial finance is really tough. For many SMEs it's a hurdle too large to even try and tackle.

'In evidence to the Treasury Select Committee last September, we called for urgent action to help SMEs seeking finance. We need to see measures to improve accessibility to finance, better awareness of alternative funding options and greater competition in banking options.

'SMEs are the backbone of the UK economy. Giving firms easier and more competitive access to finance is crucial to getting the economic growth we all want to see.' 

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