Finance for small businesses - SME - Business - The Independent

Finance for small businesses

Adam Tyler looks at the importance of educating SMEs about new sources of finance

SMEs are constantly referred to as the driving force behind the UK’s economic recovery with figures from the FSB suggesting they are responsible for 48.5 per cent  of the UK’s turnover.

The Bank of England governor Mervyn King recently admitted that pushing more money into the UK economy through quantitative easing could not guarantee more commercial lending from the High Street banks. The continued looming threat from the Eurozone is also likely to have a negative effect on bank lending, which will inevitably mean that mainstream lending is unlikely to increase substantially any time soon.

The government is continuing to consult with businesses and groups, like the NACFB, on how credit can get through to businesses that need it most. There have been a variety of initiatives, such as the Enterprise Finance Guarantee Scheme, designed specifically to create growth opportunities and get money to UK businesses, with limited success.

We feel part of the answer to low levels of lending rests in increasing competition in the banking sector and encouraging a wider knowledge and understanding of the alternative sources of funding that are available to business. There is still a huge lack of competition in the banking and finance sector, which has created the impression amongst SMEs that the ‘high street’ is the only avenue to credit.

The NACFB represents the interests of commercial finance brokers across the UK. This sector of the financial services industry can play a pivotal role in providing finance to credit worthy SMEs, at a time when it is needed.

If as a business you are seeking finance, speaking to a broker can offer you a good route to secure credit at a competitive price. If you haven’t thought about it before, here are some reasons you might want to consider it.

Knowledge of the market

Brokers are experts in their field; they have a wide knowledge of the market, what the best available rates are, what product is right for the customer and most importantly, where they can find it.

Diversity of finance

There are a large number of financial providers lending to businesses across the country. A broker can help you cut through this cluttered landscape and find you a product and lender that suits your individual needs.

One-stop shop

If you have ever sought finance in the past, you know it can often be a time consuming exercise. Especially if you are determined to ensure you are receiving the best deal. Brokers serve as a one stop shop, working on your behalf to bring you the best deals.

Peace of mind

Using a broker that complies with a Code of Practice is essential, the NACFB ensures that its members present you with the right advice and all fees if applicable are transparent.

So if you as a business are looking to secure credit, either to grow or give you much needed breathing room. There are plenty of options out there. All it requires is looking beyond the High Street.

Adam Tyler is chief executive of the National Association of Commercial Finance Brokers (NACFB). For more information on using commercial financial brokers please contact the National Association for Commercial Finance Brokers at www.nacfb.org.uk

For more information, videos and advice for SMEs, visit www.freshbusinessthinking.com

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