Showcasing the Best of Welsh Business


SMEs Worried About Access to Finance as Late Payments Rise


New research from investment holding company MBH Corporation shows SME bosses are worried that access to finance will become harder over the next three years as they continue to grapple with the late payment of invoices

MBH Corporation’s study found two out of five (40%) of SMEs believe applying for funding will become more difficult while just 10% expect it to become easier. Around a third (33%) believe lending conditions will not change and 17% are unsure what will happen.

Access to funding will be a major issue for SMEs, MBH Corporation’s research found, as nearly one in three (30%) will want to borrow to fund growth over the next two years.

The past year has been hard for business owners with more than one in three (34%) reporting an increase in the time customers take to pay invoices underlining the need for ready access to finance.

But there is good news from the experience of the past year in applying for funding – just 17% of business that applied for loans were rejected. The biggest impact on the business from being turned down was not being able to expand exports or hire staff.

MBH Corporation research(2)  last year found that 38% of SMEs applied for Government loans with many planning to pay them back quickly as they are optimistic about the future.

Callum Laing, CEO of MBH Corporation plc said:

“Access to funding is a constant worry for SMEs and being rejected can have major consequences for expansion plans.

“SMEs are generally optimistic about the future as underlined by their plans to access finance for expansion shows. The good news is that experience over the past year shows that SMEs which have applied for finance have been successful.”

MBH Corporation has 25 companies in its group. Profitable small businesses join the group in order to benefit from the advantages of being part of a larger PLC. Company owners retain their autonomy and become co-owners of the listed vehicle.

Stock plans incentivise the companies to accelerate their growth trajectory using the resources of the plc including expertise, skill transfer of best- in- class practices, cross-selling to other group companies and where appropriate, zero cost funding for new growth projects.