10 Oct 2017 2:16 PM

The UK’s national economic development bank has set out the case for more finance options for smaller businesses looking to grow.

A new report from the British Business Bank (BBB) called The Benefits of Diverse Finance Markets for Smaller Businesses provides a fresh analysis of the need for greater choice among the UK’s smaller businesses looking for finance when it comes to expanding their operations.

The report explains why and how the BBB works to help increase the number of providers and finance options available to smaller businesses across the UK. The BBB, which is entirely Government-owned, says this is important because of “regional imbalances” in the availability and awareness of finance options amongst smaller businesses. This in turn, the BBB points out, affects the growth prospects of those businesses.

The bank poses five central questions in its latest report:

  • Who has access? Can smaller businesses unable to access mainstream finance options find appropriate alternatives?
  • Where can finance be accessed? Is the right kind of finance available in all regions and are smaller businesses aware of their options?
  • When can access be arranged? Are smaller businesses able to access finance in a timely fashion?
  • On what terms is finance currently accessed? Is finance available that reflects the nature of constraints of running a small business?
  • How is access delivered? What are the obstacles posed by the particular way a smaller business applies, receives or pays for funding?

The report also demonstrates the progress that the BBB has already made against its objective, set by government, that over 75% of the bank’s stock of finance is facilitated through providers other than the four largest banks.

Businesses can find out more about their finance options by accessing the Business Finance Guide (www.thebusinessfinanceguide.co.uk) jointly published by the BBB and the ICAEW, the chartered accountants body, and supported by 21 leading business organisations.

If you'd like advice on ways to grow your small business please contact me.