Almost one in four (24%) of SMEs see political uncertainty as one of the main barriers facing their business, with concern highest amongst businesses in London and the North East, according to a major regional survey.
The latest BVA BDRC SME Finance Monitor annual report for 2018, which provides a regional analysis of 18,002 firms across the UK, found the number of SMEs who see political uncertainty as one of three main barriers to their business increased to 24% in Q4 2018, compared to 19% in Q3 2018. This was followed by the current economic climate (22%) and legislation, regulation and red tape (22%). 41% of all SMEs mentioned at least one of these obstacles in Q4 2018.
The survey also found that overall, most SMEs are succeeding in accessing finance from banks when they apply for it, with 80% of applications being approved by lenders.
A full regional breakdown can be viewed below.
Stephen Pegge, managing director, Commercial Finance at UK Finance, commented:
“This survey suggests many small businesses across the country are increasingly concerned about the ongoing uncertainty over Brexit.
“The banking and finance industry is ready to support viable businesses whatever the outcome. Through our ‘Let’s Talk Business’ campaign, we are providing guidance to help SMEs plan for the changes ahead and consider the impact on their customers and supply chain.
“Over 80% of finance applications from SMEs in the UK are successful, showing that firms should be confident in approaching their bank to discuss any financing needs. We would urge any small businesses to get in touch early on to improve their chances of success.”