SMEs unaware of government financial help

Robyn Hall

November 26, 2012

The research, which was conducted amongst 300 SME firms throughout the country, also confirms that just over a third (35%) of SMEs are aware of government backed schemes but have not applied for any, with only 8% of businesses saying they are planning to apply for a grant or finance scheme in the next 12 months.

George Ashworth, managing director of Aldermore Asset Finance, said: “There is clearly a big job to be done in helping ‘time poor’ business owners find out more about government backed schemes designed to help them grow their businesses.

“Some 38% of respondents told us they were unaware of how to find out about grants and schemes and a further 55% said they were cynical about them, believing them to be government PR exercises or schemes designed to favour big businesses.”

Research undertaken by Experian (Sept 2012) also confirms that SMEs have a poor level of awareness of government grants and other sources of alternative funding, with just 6% saying they would ask a broker for information.

Ashworth added: “Our research confirms that two-thirds of business-owners turn to the internet as their primary source of information. There is plenty of scope for simplifying and clarifying information about government backed schemes and making this information available online to business owners.”

Established in 2009, Aldermore has lent more than £1 billion to 12,000 SME customers throughout the UK and has increased its client base by 52% in the past year whilst many other banks have been scaling back their SME loan books. Aldermore can help SMEs requiring funding of up to £10 million with a range of competitive finance facilities which are supported by a reliable, high quality service.

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