In the aftermath of the Government’s recent Autumn Statement, which made measures such as the ‘full expensing’ scheme permanent, Simply Asset Finance is championing a more comprehensive policy approach aimed at fostering the innovation, efficiency, and sustainable growth of SMEs in the UK.

SMEs, constituting a staggering 99% of the nation’s economy, are undeniably the backbone of UK growth, the asset finance provider said in a statement, citing the Federation of Small Businesses.

Simply AF contends that addressing persistent concerns around business productivity is crucial. Their research has underscored key factors, including access to skilled labour, technological advancements, and streamlined processes, as areas requiring attention.

Findings from its latest research highlight the following issues:

  • 64% of UK SMEs are calling for more resources and support to be made available to them and their businesses.
  • Strikingly, almost half of SMEs (48%) admit they don’t know where to look to find support for their business.
  • With the pressing concern of stifled productivity top of the agenda for almost three-quarters of businesses, only one in five can actively invest in new equipment or machinery to counteract this.
  • Business leaders find themselves particularly burdened by escalating operational costs, a worry for 79% of business leaders, and supply chain expenses, weighing in as a concern for 75%.
  • In the past five months just one in five (22%) have been able to invest in new technology, or equipment and machinery (20%).
Mike Randall

On Autumn Statement

Mike Randall, CEO at Simply Asset Finance, said: “SMEs up and down the country are ready to seize growth opportunities and be the engine of the UK’s economic recovery.

“A significant and cost-effective step would be to simply make it easier for SMEs to invest in asset purchases. Just being able to expense it could have a transformative impact on businesses across the country, and the move by the Chancellor last week to make the full expensing scheme permanent is a step towards this. But more significant action is required to keep UK business on the right track and ensure they’re in a position to seize it.

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“An extension of the Recovery Loan Scheme or a replacement with similar underlying aims would be an example of this and provide SMEs with real certainty, as well as the confidence to invest in their future. 

“The role of an experienced financial partner is critical too. Lenders need to step up service and work much harder to find and share ways to support SMEs, including by providing much-needed clarity on the range of funding options available to fuel growth, such as asset finance. The scale of the growth opportunity is significant but turning potential into reality will require industry and government to pull in the same direction.”  

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