Exclusive: New funding tool for SMEs launched

Exclusive: New funding tool for SMEs launched


SMEs have long encountered problems securing finance, but today small businesses have been offered a helping hand with the launch of a brand new tool aimed at promoting access to vital funding. 

The Small Business Finance Directory, which includes around one thousand sources of commercial finance for small firms, is designed to help businesses find alternatives to conventional bank loans or overdrafts when these may be hard to obtain. The Directory covers a range of financiers, including: leasing and hire purchase, commercial mortgages, asset-based finance and invoice discounting and factoring. 

The Directory was developed by the Finance and Leasing Association (FLA) and the National Association of Commercial Finance Brokers (NACFB) with the support of the Asset Based Finance Association (ABFA). It aims to help around 60,000 businesses find suitable commercial finance in its first year.  

It is the first comprehensive Directory of its kind to cover the UK as a whole. It includes a search facility based on the region, town or postcode of local sources of finance and brokers. 

Businesses may need finance for a variety of reasons, including short-term cash flow or working capital, asset purchases, business development, the purchase of stock, and the financing of imports or exports. Research shows that most small businesses have some awareness of the types of commercial finance available, but often do not know where to find them. 

The Directory aims to help them do just that. The independent advisors listed in the directory can also help to match business needs with affordable finance.

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury, Lord Sassoon, said: “The Government recognises that small businesses are the lifeblood of our economy.  That is why we are providing support to small businesses to ensure that they can access affordable finance to invest and grow. 

“I am delighted to help launch the Small Business Finance Directory, which will assist businesses to find alternative sources of finance.  The Small Business Finance Directory has been developed at the request of local businesses and I wish the scheme success in meeting the target to help 60,000 businesses in the next twelve months.”

Adam Tyler, Chief Executive of the NACFB, added: “The National Association of Commercial Finance Brokers has for many years assisted SMEs to find funding - last year, in excess of £10 billion. 

“The Small Business Finance Directory has been developed to allow our members, who have access to a vast range of commercial finance lenders, to help many more small businesses across the UK. This initiative will really make a difference by highlighting the range of alternative forms of commercial finance available to businesses.”


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