SME lending conditions continue on steady upward curve

A new report has revealed that finance conditions for lending opportunities are continuing to improve for small and medium-sized enterprises.


The latest Credit Conditions Survey from EEF, the manufacturers’ organisation, found 16% of companies reporting increased availability of credit.


However, the stable borrowing costs and a rise in opportunities for borrowing meant little to the 52% of those polled, who said they had no need to borrow.


Irwin Mitchell’s business legal services experts specialise in providing advice and support to a range of companies, and has a dedicated arm called the SME Group. This focuses on helping the growth and expansion of smaller firms and entrepreneurs whose needs and requirements may differ greatly from those of bigger companies.


‘Very welcome news’


Head of Banking & Finance at Irwin Mitchell, Andrew Watson, said: “It’s very welcome news that the availability of credit for SMEs is increasing. This is a very positive sign that the economy is ‘on the mend’ and that business confidence is rising.”


“What we need now is for that message to sink in and for businesses to reassess the investment and growth opportunities that are out there. They need to use all the tools available to them to help them grow their businesses,” he continued.


The recent period following the fallout from the banking crisis has meant that many smaller concerns have effectively been in ‘survival mode’, with some companies facing a pre pack administration agreement or something similar when they eventually face up to the financial reality.


However, now that conditions are changing the time is right for SMEs to reconsider their growth strategies.


Mr. Watson explained: “Alternative financing options will be of interest to SMEs in the current environment with invoice finance, asset-based lending or peer-to-peer schemes likely to feature as financing solutions.”


“For ambitious SMEs, now is the time for them to seriously consider their next move. By thoroughly reviewing all the financing options available to them, they could get themselves one step ahead of their competitors,” he concluded.

By Phil Smith


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