The latest Aldermore Future Attitudes study has revealed that nearly a fifth (19%) of UK SMEs have missed a new opportunity in the past 12 months due to a lack of available funding. Medium-sized businesses are worst hit, with over a quarter (28%) saying they have been affected.
The report, which surveyed over a thousand business decision-makers across the UK, found that those impacted are missing out on income worth an average of £76,888 each year.
Regionally, businesses based in London are losing out on the most additional income due to missed business opportunities, £135,791 on average annually. This is followed by those based in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland (£67,380 per year).
Lack of funding poses problems for those SMEs focusing on scaling up. Achieving growth is the top business objective for almost two fifths (37%) of SMEs, while almost a quarter (24%) are prioritising developing and expanding their products and services. Additionally, just over a fifth (21%) are concentrating on expanding in the UK.
Furthermore, business owners are apprehensive about not being able to innovate and grow. A quarter (25%) of SMEs state that cash flow is their biggest business concern over the next 12 months. Moreover, one in 10 (12%) feel keeping up with new technology is their main worry, while a sixth (15%) are anxious about attracting, retaining or upskilling staff.
Tim Boag, Group Managing Director, Business Finance at Aldermore, said “It’s concerning to see that almost a fifth of SMEs are missing out on opportunities as a result of financing issues. Small businesses need adequate cash to innovate, grow and keep up to date with the latest developments.”
“That’s why it’s important that lenders understand and are responsive to the needs of SMEs. By providing specific solutions in a timely way, which meet business needs, we can start to address this problem and ensure SMEs – the lifeblood of our economy – continue to thrive in uncertain times.”