Message from BBA Chief Executive Anthony Browne
Small and medium businesses are the backbone of our economy. They create jobs and drive investment around the country. Many are also at the cutting edge of innovation, embracing new technologies to deliver products and services that benefit customers.
It is crucial, therefore, that these businesses have access to the finance that they need to grow. A wide range of financing options are available to SMEs, ranging from traditional bank borrowing to alternative lending.
In this edition of Financing Growth, Handelsbanken branch manager Joe McGrath outlines his firm’s commitment to long-term and local relationship banking. Turn to page 6 for more.
We also speak to Nick Williams, MD, Consumer Digital at Lloyds Banking Group, about the UK Business Digital Index 2016. This examines attitudes of SMEs towards digital technology and how it is changing the way they do business. Could you cut back on costs or tap a new financing source by embracing digital? Find out further details on page 14.
The British Business Bank – an economic development bank set up by the Government – is working hard to improve access to finance for SMEs. The bank is utilising the Enterprise Finance Guarantee scheme to ensure businesses without adequate security for traditional debt finance can receive the funds they need. Since its introduction in 2009, the scheme has helped support £2.7 billion of lending to more than 26,000 small businesses. Could your business be among those to benefit? Turn to page 22 for more information.
Banks are not the only place where you can turn to for finance. On page 52, Financing Growth looks at how alternative funding streams such as angel investment and asset-based lending mean that small businesses have more funding choices than ever before. Separately, on page 30, the Just Loans Group highlights how they are embracing FinTech and social media as new ways of analysing loan applications from SMEs.
We’re also delighted to have contributions from the Home Office on cyber security and Leapfrog Mountain on mentoring.
BBA Chief Executive