UK SMEs will 'Fret over Cash-Flows' During Festive Period

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By Ian Silvera | December 9, 2013 9:18 PM EST

The research revealed businesses will be doing more fretting than partying over the festive period (Reuters)

Small and medium sized businesses in the UK will be worrying about cash-flow shortages over Christmas, according to new research.

The survey, which will be a kick in the teeth for Chancellor George Osborne so soon after the Autumn Statement 2013, revealed businesses will be doing more fretting than partying over the festive period.

The study, which was conducted finance provider Platform Black and questioned more than 1,000 British SMEs, found a large majority (70%) of businesses feared they would suffer from cash-flow shortages over the festive period.

"What is even more concerning is that the vast majority of SMEs are totally unaware that they are able to access alternative finance from non-bank providers," said Louise Beaumont, co-founder of Platform Black.

She added: "If the banks and alternative finance providers could work together to ensure that the UK's SMEs are directed to the most appropriate sources of finance for them, rather than just being rejected at the first hurdle, then we could jointly ensure that the UK's catalyst for economic growth is provided with the financing it so desperately requires."

The research also revealed nearly nine in ten (89%) of SMEs said 89% said that their biggest headache will be working out how to grow in 2014.

In addition, more than half of the companies (56%) said that their third major migraine over the festive period will be worrying about how to get enough cash-flow to finance their operations for 2014

The research comes after Osborne's Autumn Statement 2013 which outlined, among other things, that jobs in the UK are to rise by 400,000 in 2013.

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