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A FIFTH OF UK BOSSES ARE DELAYING INVESTMENT DECISIONS UNTIL AFTER THE ELECTION

SMEs say help accessing finance is the most important issue for the post-election government to tackle 

ALMOST a fifth of SMEs across the UK are delaying investment decisions due to uncertainty over the outcome of the General Election, according to our recent business survey.

The findings come from the latest Close Brothers Business Barometer, a quarterly survey that seeks the opinion of SME owners and managers from a range of sectors across the UK.

CEO of Close Brothers Invoice Finance, David Thomson, said: “The General Election is fast approaching which of course is having an impact on decision-making at many firms.

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“In the upcoming election, there are two key sources of uncertainty; the prospect of another coalition government and the possibility of an EU referendum. 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.”

The survey further found that help accessing finance is the most important issue for the post-election government to address for over a third of firms surveyed.

Mr Thomson continued: “The latest Business Barometer showed that 73% of UK SMEs do plan to invest in their business during 2015 so let’s hope that uncertainty around the election will not affect their intentions.

“Our survey also shows that access to finance continues to be a stumbling block for many firms, with 13% of the businesses we talked to saying it is more difficult to access finance now than it was 12 months ago, and a third saying it is as difficult now as this time last year.

“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 SMEs are in a strong position to invest and seize opportunities when decision-making is back on the agenda.”