The research, which was conducted in July this year amongst 300 SME firms throughout the country, confirms that 86% of business owners say the economy is either worse than or unchanged from 2011, with just 14% seeing any sign of improvement. However, despite this bleak prognosis 55% are expecting either a modest or significant upturn in turnover during the year ahead, driven by greater sales and marketing activity. 38% say they expect business levels to stay the same. Only 7% anticipate a downturn in fortunes next year.
Ian Wilkins, Group Managing Director of Commercial Finance at Aldermore, said: "This research shows that despite the economy continuing to languish in the doldrums, owners of small and medium sized businesses remain optimistic about their future prospects. They are committing greater resources to sales and marketing activities in order to drum-up new business, with firms confirming they are recruiting specialist staff, investing in new marketing campaigns and exploring new market opportunities both in the UK and overseas.
"Our experience at Aldermore is that business owners are battling on, but need the support of banks to help fund their future growth ambitions. Sadly, too many companies have found that the big banks are either unwilling to renew credit lines, or will only do so on more onerous terms.
"Aldermore is committed to helping small and medium sized businesses realise their growth ambitions, by providing a range of specialist financial products to help improve cashflow, with the purchase of essential equipment and with the acquisition of property."
Established in 2009, Aldermore has assets of £2.3 billion and has lent more than £1 billion to 12,000 SME customers. Its aim is to support SMEs typically requiring funding of up to £10 million with a range of competitive finance facilities which are supported by a reliable, high quality service.
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