Fifth of UK small businesses to delay investment decisions until after election

Many small business owners say access to finance should be top of the agenda for the new government

Almost a fifth of UK-based small and medium-sized businesses have postponed raising finance because of uncertainty about who will be in government after May’s general election, according to the latest Close Brothers Business Barometer (CBBB).

The quarterly survey of small business owners and managers also revealed that 13% of firms say it is now more difficult to access finance than it was 12 months ago, with a third saying it is as difficult as this time last year. Despite this, 73% of of those surveyed plan to invest in their businesses during 2015.

More than a third of respondents cited access to finance as the most important issue for the next government to tackle, with the possibility of another coalition and the prospect of an EU referendum the biggest causes of uncertainty.

Close Brothers Invoice Finance CEO, David Thomson, commented on these concerns: “Both could have significant consequences for business and so it is understandable that some are holding back from making important business decisions pending a clearer picture of the future

“Cash flow is the lifeblood of business and we hope that enabling access to appropriate finance is high on the agenda for the post-election government so that small and medium enterprises are in a strong position to invest and seize opportunities when decision-making is back on the agenda.”

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