Research carried out by AXA Business Insurance confirms our own recently published research that small businesses' credit needs are not being met by conventional financing sources, and that growth is being hampered as a result.
The Yorkshire Post reports that AXA's research into five million businesses nationwide reveals "a worrying picture of firms not being able to access conventional financing sources".
The newspaper adds: "Access to finance continues to be the biggest barrier to growth for SMEs. Of the 500 companies interviewed, just 12 per cent said they had accessed funding in the last year, however 44 per cent relied on an overdraft, credit card or family and friends to provide the additional cash they required."
Nearly half of the 500 firms interviewed by AXA said they needed to look for funding to secure this growth. Yet AXA warns that many SMEs may struggle to do the best for their business as less than 20 per cent have any understanding of schemes such as funding for lending, EIS, SEIS or government loans that could help them.