Increasingly confident UK SMEs ready to invest in growing businesses



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Faced with the looming economic and business uncertainty caused by the pandemic, SMEs now see the time to step up their business investments with ambitious plans for recruitment, renewal of equipment and machinery, and both national expansion. and international.

MarketFinance asked 2,000 small business owners across the UK their outlook for 2022 and beyond, assessing their short and long term plans for investment and business growth.

What the fintech commercial lender discovered from their investigation was documented in this recently released report, the details of which we’ll expand here.

As SME confidence improves and pandemic disruptions slowly begin to subside, many companies are now focused on recovery and growth. 48% of SMEs expect their turnover to stabilize or increase over the next 12 months, 50% expect demand for their products or services to stabilize or increase over the next 6 months, and the majority of SMEs (63%) expect their business to grow within the next 3 years.

As survival mode is no longer a necessity and the pressures on cash flow begin to ease, 70% of SMBs feel confident enough to increase their business investments over the next 12 months. 25% of SMEs plan to hire new staff, while 24% plan to purchase new equipment and machinery. When asked how they integrate borrowing into their investment plans, 23% of SMEs said having access to a wider range of borrowing options could allow them to increase their investments even further. .

Borrowing is likely to play a key role in recovery and growth, with 62% of SMEs saying that borrowing prudently could help them finance their growth. However, 71% of SMEs do not believe that traditional banking products are the most obvious and convenient way to borrow to invest. Despite this lack of alignment between current financing needs and options available through traditional channels, 37% of SMEs are looking to contract new loan facilities.

With high confidence and the feeling of having passed the recovery stage and entering a new stage of growth, many companies are eager to seize a multitude of opportunities in 2022. 81% of the SMEs surveyed plan to invest in sustainable development, while 30% say they are. taking into account M&A activity in the coming year, more than double the 14% which is mainly focused on organic growth. 34% of companies say they already sell abroad or plan to start doing so. This figure is highest among the larger companies surveyed which typically generate between £ 5 and £ 6.5million in turnover, but even among smaller companies a significant number are focused on exporting.

Anil Stocker, CEO, MarketFinance

“It is clear that the business environment has changed and that SMEs look to the future with a calmly confident and cautiously optimistic vision,” comments the CEO of MarketFinance. Anil Stocker. “UK companies intend to accelerate their growth through national and international expansion, digital transformation and even merger and acquisition activity. But as they reset their post-pandemic goals for a post-pandemic, they’ll need to be confident in their funding base.

“Given that so many SMEs look outside of traditional channels in their search for financing, we are particularly proud to have been accredited by the British Investment Bank as one of the few alternative providers under the Recovery Loan Scheme.

“Programs like RLS are a golden opportunity for SMEs looking to prepare for growth, by providing easily accessible, low-cost financing for a wide range of products. We expect to see a large number of SMEs benefit from the program over the next 6 months as their growth and expansion efforts accelerate and invest in ambitious plans for 2022 and beyond. “

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