Small business owners in the UK have warned they will abandon expansion plans for 2018 if they are unable to secure funding.
New data from Hitachi Capital Business Finance’s business barometer asked more than 1,100 small business decision-makers about how they planned to grow their business in the next 12 months and which strategies depended on securing finance.
The survey found that 43% are relying on finance as the foundation of their plans.
Among those predicting significant growth for the next three months, 65% say they will have to put various growth plans on hold if they are unable to secure appropriate funding. The same is true of younger enterprises that have been trading for less than five years (54%).
A lack of access to funding will also directly hold back any plans to open up new markets (16%) and diversify product offers (23%).
One in five business owners (21%) say a failure to secure funding will hinder their plans for IT upgrades and investment in improved systems.
Gavin Wraith-Carter, managing director of Hitachi Capital Business Finance, said: “The principle of high street lenders doing more to support the small business sector has been widely debated but we are now at a critical moment.
“The economic impact of small businesses being starved of business finance has never been clearer or more tangible. Small businesses have the nimbleness, the ideas and the entrepreneurial spirit that the broader business community can learn from in how we all make Brexit a success for British business.”
|Growth activities under threat without funding||% of small businesses|
|Compete with larger competitors||26%|
|Increase headcount/ hire new people||25%|
|Launch new products/ services||23%|
|Run a marketing/ advertising campaign||23%|
|Move to a better location/ bigger space||22%|
|Modernise IT capability/ purchase new IT equipment||21%|
|Launch into new markets outside the UK||16%|
|Launch into new market segments within the UK||16%|
|Invest in staff training programmes||16%|
|Invest in a new company brand/ website||15%|
|Pitch for major accounts||15%|
|Invest in new vehicles||14%|
|Invest in new production lines/ machinery||14%|
|Pay suppliers on time||14%|
|Pay our tax bills||10%|
|Adapt to new data protection laws||9%|