Not a week goes by, it seems, where banks aren’t being criticised for not lending enough to SMEs or declining too many loan applications. However, results of a survey commissioned by alternative finance company Platform Black presents a more positive perspective on the controversial subject of business financing.

The findings show that 71% of small businesses are now confident in their ability to raise finance, with the construction and manufacturing industries being the most content in this respect. The statistics were compiled by talking to 500 managing directors – including financial directors and business owners with more than 250 employees.

Out of the businesses questioned, an impressive 70% said they were either ‘very confident’ or ‘fairly confident’ in their ability to obtain the finance they needed over the next 12 months.

SMEs have more options when it comes to finance

Louise Beaumont, co-founder of Platform Black, said: “This is great news for the UK economy and shows the perception of restricted access to finance is receding at last. We welcome the fact that access to finance is no longer placing a choke chain around SME growth and its prospects for the future.”

She attributed the positive figures to the growth of the alternative finance market, giving firms other options for sourcing much-needed funds.

She added: “Interestingly, recent figures from the Bank of England for the last quarter show that net lending to SMEs by banks was down by £0.7bn and yet the Alternative Finance market is growing significantly, with the peer-to-peer lending industry providing more than £1.5 billion to businesses by May this year.

“Clearly, a significant proportion of new money is coming from alternative lenders rather than the banks showing that Alternative Finance is offering businesses a real choice for equity, loans and invoice finance – the bank is no longer the first, last and only port of call.”