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New initiative may help SMEs access finance

A new initiative between the National Association of Commercial Finance Brokers and the Institute of Certified Bookkeepers could improve access to finance [1] for small businesses.

The scheme is currently being piloted in Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire.

Garry Carter, the chief executive of the ICB, said the programme brings together bookkeepers and brokers and if the trial is successful, it will be rolled out nationwide. Members of the ICB who devise successful funding [2] proposals for their clients or employers will be rewarded with a share of the commission on the deal.

Carter went on to explain that it has to be established who, particularly in the micro-business sector, is looking for funding. Once that has been established, the emphasis must be on making sure they have credible plans.

Before lenders will consider making funds available, they need to see that a business is properly run and this means providing up-to-date accounts, accurate projections and a SWOT analysis.

A recent study by the NACFB found that there has been a slight improvement in funding recently but it’s still not enough. Accountants and other SMEs [3] still find it difficult to access the funds they need in order to expand.

Businesses have been looking for better ways to borrow and the number using invoice finance has increased for the fourth consecutive year. There has also been an increase of 3.5% in the number of firms using asset finance, however asset finance brokers are now struggling to find funders.

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Image: Hidden Object of Affection [4] by carterse

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