East Anglia: Firms ‘blame Coalition Government for growth failure’ - survey

ALMOST a third of firms in East Anglia have been unable to secure finance in the last 12 months, according to a new study.

Bibby Financial Services surveyed small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in East Anglia and found a huge shortfall in the level of funding required by the business community and what was provided by the finance industry.

It found 31% were unable to secure finance, with just 6% receiving the amount of funding they applied for.

Of those surveyed, 46% blamed the Coalition Government for failing to provide an environment which encourages growth.

Twenty-three per cent of business owners and managers in the region felt the SME community was doing all it could to drive the economy forward, with an additional 23% calling for a reduction in red tape to stimulate activity.

When questioned on what presented the greatest challenge to business stability, the cost of fuel came out on top, with 40% identifying it as the biggest barrier. This was closely followed by the eurozone crisis, (32%) and the level of taxation (23%).

Sharon Wiltshire, of Bibby Financial Services East Anglia, said a raft of initiatives had failed to deliver real benefits to SMEs. “If we didn’t need further proof that businesses require greater access to finance, these findings clearly highlight the size of the gap between funding supply and demand,” she said.