"Financing projects from £50,000 to £100 million"

Firms need access to finance to sustain growth, says BCC

Firms need access to finance to sustain growth, says BCC

The economy could flatline again after an impressive 2013 if restrictions remain on bank lending, the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has warned.

The UK economy achieved steady growth of 0.7% and 0.8% in the second and third quarters of 2013, according to the Office of National Statistics.

And the BCC, a leading trade group, believes that the fourth quarter growth performance could surpass this to reach 0.9%.

The five key indicators of growth – including capital investment, expansion, and sales volumes – are also showing strong performance heading into 2014.

Orders, employment expectations and confidence for future profitability are at all-time highs, according to the results of the BCC's latest business survey.

“Confidence is high and our members are resolute in their determination to take the recovery from being good to being truly great,” said the BCC’s director general, John Longworth.

“It is a fantastic start to the new year”, he added. “Firms across the board believe they can create jobs, invest and export.”

But the group believes that the recovery could still wane if small and medium-sized businesses continue to be denied access to finance.

In the autumn, the government announced that the Funding for Lending Scheme, which had provided stimulus to the residential mortgage market throughout 2013, would be adapted towards business lending from the New Year.

Mr Longworth said that more support was needed to ensure that the prevailing optimism among firms could generate into expansion and further growth.

“Cashflow continues to be an ongoing concern. We must give companies the opportunity to get the finance they need to go out and trade in the world if we are to succeed in rebalancing the economy,” he said.

Wednesday, 08 January 2014 16:29
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