Most construction SMEs confident of raising finance

NEW figures reveal that 73% of SMEs in the construction and manufacturing industries are confident in their ability to raise finance.

A survey on behalf of Platform Black talked to 500 managing directors, financial directors and owners of businesses with up to 250 employees in various sectors and found that confidence is returning to the UK economy. More than 70 per cent of companies questioned said they are ‘very confident’ or ‘fairly confident’ in their ability to raise the finance they need over the next 12 months.

Louise Beaumont, co-founder of Platform Black, an Alternative Finance firm which has advanced more than £65m to SMEs since its inception two years ago, said, “This is great news for the UK economy and shows the perception of restricted access to finance is receding at last. We welcome the fact that access to finance is no longer placing a choke chain around SME growth and its prospects for the future.

“A significant proportion of new money is coming from alternative lenders rather than the banks showing that Alternative Finance is offering businesses a real choice for equity, loans and invoice finance – the bank is no longer the first, last and only port of call.”

The Platform Black survey also revealed that confidence did not particularly vary from sector to sector. 73% of companies within the construction and manufacturing industries, 72% of companies within business services and 66% of companies within transport, retail and distribution sectors all said their confidence in their ability to raise funds was good.

What did affect business confidence, however, was company size in terms of employees and turnover. Business confidence was higher in medium businesses (50 to 249 employees) at 80%; six in ten of these medium businesses (62%) had a turnover of greater than £6.5 million. This is compared to micro businesses (1 to 9 employees) which had lower business confidence at 69%; three quarters of these micro businesses (75%) had a turnover of less than £632,000.