Research conducted by RateSetter Business Finance shows that, despite the uncertainty created by Brexit, more than 40 per cent of businesses in the UK – and nearly half (48 per cent) of those based in London – are expecting to grow this year.
Four in five businesses owners (82 per cent) intend to invest in their company in 2017.
The findings contrast with recent statistics from the British Business Bank (BBB) which showed that half of UK SMEs have not sourced external finance for three years and that 70 per cent borrowed less than £25,000 on the last occasion.
The total value of business lending dropped by 11 per cent in 2016 compared with 2015 and, more recently, borrowing by non-financial companies decreased by £1.6bn in February.
Paul Marston, RateSetter’s managing director, Commercial Finance, commented: “While the exact impact of Brexit on small and medium sized businesses will not become clear for some time, it’s reassuring to see that almost half expect to grow this year and are considering the finance they need to make this possible.”
“For the best SMEs, 2017 will present many opportunities, and we’re already seeing high-calibre businesses approaching us for finance in order to grow and become more productive.”