Small businesses concerned over funding options post Brexit

Some British SMEs rely on EU funding 

British SMEs have raised concerns about their ability to gain funding in the future as Britain’s withdrawal from the EU draws closer, a recent survey has revealed.

The survey commissioned by insurer Hiscox found of the 500 businesses surveyed 38 per cent had accessed EU funding in the last five years, many of whom expressed concern that ‘recent economic and political uncertainty has adversely affected business confidence.’

Banks are still the biggest ‘go-to’ for funding with three-quarters of businesses surveyed stating they used bank loans to fund their businesses over the last five years. This is despite the arrival of new finance options for start-ups like crowdfunding and peer-to-peer loans. 

However just 1 in 5 businesses are aware of what funding options are available to them and ‘36 percent of business owners said a lack of choice was the most common single challenge they faced when looking for funding’.

The survey also found that one of the biggest factors impacting on business growth was economic uncertainty surrounding Brexit. In fact, 18 per cent more businesses found economic uncertainty affected their growth than competition within their own industry. 

The lack of skilled workers is also impacting on the growth of small businesses with 10 per cent facing obstructions to their growth due to a lack of skilled personnel.

A spokesperson for the company said: “With the Institute for Public Policy Research finding that employers in Britain are currently spending over £6 billion less on training per year than the EU average, and the prospect of visa complications for foreign workers following Brexit, the growing skills’ gap could further hinder business growth in Britain.”

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