No slowdown in SMEs, figures show

After a rush to seize post-Brexit trading opportunities, business for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) is on the rise, reports reveal.

Figures from the National Association of Commercial Finance Brokers (NACFB) show that the demand for finance has broken £20 million since the start of August.

This was more than the amount borrowed in the entirety of July, and double the sum in August 2015.

With the total number of enquiries rising by a third, overall interest in finance was also up.

The report shows that the average loan requested was around £128,000, compared to just £73,000 in July and £94,000 in June.

Adam Tyler, chief executive of the NACFB, said: “Project Fear doesn’t appear to have rattled the Small and Medium Enterprise community.

“August is typically a quieter month for funding applications, but businesses aren’t procrastinating, and are showing a real appetite for growth, even with the uncertainty surrounding our future relationship with the EU.

“UK SMEs are the lifeblood of this country, and if they’re going to take advantage of the opportunities presented post-Brexit, the alternative funding sector has a vital role to play, particularly as we look to broker new trade agreements with countries outside the EU.”

Experts have pinned the surge in SME growth on record low interest rates on loans offered by banks.