By Claire West

Legal experts who specialise in providing support to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have urged such companies to review all of their potential finance options, after new research suggested that finance conditions for such companies are continuing to improve.

The manufacturers’ organisation EEF’s latest Credit Conditions Survey has revealed stable borrowing costs and a strong rise in the availability of new lines of borrowing, particularly for SMEs, with 16 per cent of companies reporting increased availability of credit.

However, the same survey highlighted that 52 per cent of companies polled said they had no need to borrow, even though prospects for investment were improving.

Irwin Mitchell’s business legal services experts specialise in providing advice and support to a range of companies, with its SME Group focusing on the needs of entrepreneurs and smaller firms looking to grow and expand.
Andrew Watson, Head of Banking & Finance at Irwin Mitchell, said: “It’s very welcome news that the availability of credit for SMEs is increasing. This is a very positive sign that the economy is “on the mend” and that business confidence is rising.”

“What we need now is for that message to sink in and for businesses to re-assess the investment and growth opportunities that are out there. They need to use all the tools available to them to help them grow their businesses. Having spent several years in “survival mode”, the more stable outlook and increased appetite for lending to SMEs will prompt many businesses to re-consider their growth strategies.

“Alternative financing options will be of interest to SMEs in the current environment with invoice finance, asset based lending or peer-to-peer schemes likely to feature as financing solutions.

“For ambitious SMEs, now is the time for them to seriously consider their next move. By thoroughly reviewing all the financing options available to them, they could get themselves one step ahead of their competitors.”