SME bosses are concerned that access to finance will become harder over the next three years as they grapple with the late payment of invoices, according to new research.
A study by MBH Corporation found that 40 per cent of SMEs believe applying for funding will become more difficult, while just 10 per cent expect the process to become easier.
A third of respondents do not think lending conditions will change, which could pose major issues for small businesses.
“Access to funding is a constant worry for SMEs and being rejected can have major consequences for expansion plans,” said Callum Laing, CEO of MBH Corporation.
The past 12 months has been hard for business owners, with more than a third reporting an increase in the time customers take to pay invoices.
MBH’s research shows that 40 per cent of SMEs will want to borrow to fund growth over the next two years.
There is good news in that just 17 per cent of businesses that applied for loans in the last year were rejected.
The biggest impact on companies that were turned down was not being able to expand exports or hire staff, according to the study.
“SMEs are generally optimistic about the future as underlined by their plans to access finance for expansion shows,” Laing added.
“The good news is that experience over the past year shows that SMEs which have applied for finance have been successful.”