New research from Aldermore bank displays that small and medium-sized enterprises are more confident in developing their business since lockdown restrictions have eased. The Bank reveals that the amount their SME customers plan to invest in their businesses has soared 190%, from £98,000 in February to £283,500.
Tim Boag, Group Managing Director of Business Finance at Aldermore which were an accredited lender under the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme and more recently the Recovery Loan Scheme, said: “Over the last year, businesses across the country have had to navigate uncharted waters, and as we emerge from the lockdown restrictions, we take invaluable learnings that will help move businesses forward to the next stage of growth. It’s encouraging to see SMEs committed to getting back on the front foot. Not only are they planning ahead to withstand future crises but they’re also prioritising investment and innovation to secure their futures.”
Mr. Boag says the Bank remains committed to backing businesses to achieve their goals and ambitions and that they offer a variety of funding solutions to this end.
Key focus areas for SMEs over the next year
It is claimed that, over the next 12 months, two out of five SMEs plan to invest in new equipment (44%) and new technology (42%) as they seek to meet the digital expectations of their customers. Evolving customer behaviors and the constraints of lockdown have all highlighted that the online presence is essential for the survival of businesses. Over a third (38%) of SMEs now plan to invest in strengthening their business’ digital footprint.
Investing in greener and more sustainable activities is becoming increasingly important for a growing number of SMEs. It is believed that over a third (36%) now plan to invest in this area, up from just one in ten six months ago.
In order to plan ahead and mitigate the effects of another potential crisis, a quarter of businesses (25%) plan to invest in solutions to help them prepare.
Source: Business Leader
The Startup Pack Comment:
A very encouraging report, though one would like to see even these numbers grow, particularly when it comes to upgrading production machinery and generally investing in new technology (green or otherwise). The imperative has to be to make British business more productive, innovative and generally more competitive particularly following BREXIT.
With the increasing proliferation of new start-up businesses, they must also be encouraged, where appropriate, to invest in new technologies and to use any available Government initiatives to achieve this.