Difficulty accessing funding is causing around one in four small and medium-sized firms to miss out on business opportunities, research shows.
A survey by Aldermore of 1,004 senior decision-makers in SMEs revealed that 23% had missed out on at least one new business opportunity due to lack of funding in the past 12 months.
The issue shows no signs of improvement, with 4% more businesses reporting this problem since the same survey was conducted in 2017.
On average, these missed opportunities cost SMEs an income worth £78,942 per year – an increase of £1,291 since last year.
The research found medium-sized businesses, defined as those with 50 to 249 employees, suffered the most.
More than two fifths (42%) of medium-sized businesses were significantly impacted by a lack of access to funding, compared to 32% in the previous year.
For these organisations, the impact on income came to an average loss of £110,960.
Funding proved one of the biggest problems facing SME business leaders in the coming months, as 32% said their main concerns were funding and cashflow.
Meanwhile, 15% said they were most worried about late payments.
The report follows the launch of an inquiry into finance for SMEs by the Treasury select committee in February 2018.
The committee is assessing the different sources of funding that are available to SMEs, and how regulations protect small businesses that borrow money.
However, the inquiry is still ongoing, and the deadline for written submissions closed on 30 March 2018.
Carl D’Ammassa, group managing director of business finance at Aldermore, said:
“It is deeply concerning that, despite the ongoing Treasury select committee inquiry into sources of SME finance, the amount of businesses missing out on these opportunities has increased over the last 12 months.
“It is vital lenders work closely with small and medium-sized companies to help them find solutions to their funding issues, ensuring new business opportunities are capitalised on.”
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