SMEs more focused on growth in Q4 2021

Financing for growth was the most common loan purpose for SMEs in the last quarter of 2021, revealed the latest data from Iwoca.

Its most recent SME Expert Report — based on data from brokers who collectively submitted over 3500 applications for unsecured finance for SME clients across the UK in December 2021 — showed that 45% of respondents cited growth as SMEs’ primary focus in Q4.

This represents a significant increase compared to Q1, when only 25% of brokers listed growth as the most common reason for finance — at the start of the year, managing cash flow was the key purpose for SMEs accessing loans.

This shift in confidence in the second half of 2021 was also reflected in the demand for larger loans.

In Q4, over a quarter (26%) of brokers said that loans valued between £100,001 and £200,000 were the most commonly requested among their SME clients, compared to Q2, when facilities between £25,001 to £50,000 were the most popular.

Nick Mayhew, director at Peak Business Finance, said: “Business owners shifted to borrowing money for more optimistic reasons as the year went on; rather than needing to urgently plug cash flow gaps, they were able to look to the future and borrow money to help with new marketing initiatives or develop new product or service offerings. 

“I've also seen a lot more businesses looking to borrow to purchase assets, either to help streamline their operation or help them expand. 

“The loan requests I'm seeing definitely suggest a more optimistic future for UK SMEs.”

Sharon Cook, director at Choice Business Loans, added: “We had two camps of clients throughout 2021: those who needed support recovering from the pandemic, and those who started to experience a growth phase of the business and sought finance solutions to help them get to the next level. 

“Towards the end of 2021, the second camp — those in the growth phase — expanded, and I think that shows a real defiant and fighting spirit that is so prevalent in SME business owners. 

“Having access to good quality finance is, and always has been, imperative to SMEs to help them survive and to thrive.”

Leave a comment