Increase in SMEs applying for alternative funding

27 February 2014

There’s been a significant increase in the number of SMEs applying for alternative funding. It comes after around two hundred businesses attended a recent breakfast seminar in Hull to discover the many funding opportunities they’ve been missing out on.

The event, organised by Welton based firm Heritage Commercial Finance, patrons of the National Association of Commercial Finance Brokers (NACFB), the UK’s trade body for business finance brokers, was the first in a series of breakfast workshops that are now being rolled out across the country.

Allison Lee, Director at Heritage Commercial Finance, said:
‘This is fantastic news and exactly what we were hoping for. We knew that SMEs weren’t aware of the many opportunities for finance available to them. We’ve had a tremendous response and great feedback which shows how important it is to continue spreading the word regarding access to funding.’

Local businesses, consultants and finance professionals also heard how accessing NACFB accredited brokers had become much easier following the launch of the findSMEfinance website. Indeed, the benefit of using a broker was one of the key messages.

Allison Lee continued:
‘SMEs don’t have to rely on High Street banks for funding and shouldn’t give up if they are turned down. Rather than a business owner going directly to a lender, a broker can look at the whole of market on their behalf and package their requirements in the correct way, so that the whole process is simpler and the results more effective.’

Clare White from Baker Tilly said:
I found the seminar very informative about the types of finance available and, importantly, when clients have difficulties in accessing finance, I now know where they can go to get help.’

Meanwhile, Andrew Pritchard, Director of Simple Commercial Finance in Beverley, felt the seminar was so well attended, it proved how essential this advice was.

‘Hull is often overlooked as a business destination and it was so important and so pleasing to receive the support of the NACFB on our doorstep. The NACFB work very hard within the corridors of Westminster to promote our industry so it was a big boost to see them in Hull. ‘

Speaking at the event, Adam Tyler, CEO of the NACFB, said: ‘It is great to have this message being spread far and wide, and so good to get so many small business owners and industry professionals together. Everywhere we go it is always the same message from SMEs – ‘if only we had known about you’, whether it is Hull, Westminster, Belfast, Wales or Aberdeen. We have a job to do this year educating the country, and all our members – as well as supportive patrons like Heritage Commercial Finance – will be sure to benefit.’

Every aspect of alternative finance for SMEs was covered, with fellow NACFB patrons on hand to give advice immediately afterwards. Representatives from Towergate, Close Brothers, Shawbrook, Investec and Bridgebank Capital took part in a funding surgery, so that businesses could ask specific questions about their own circumstances.

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