A survey of businesses across North East England has shown a remarkable lack of awareness of publicly funded finance schemes.
Of the businesses surveyed, 60.3% had tried to access external finance in the previous 12 months, mostly to support growth or assist with cashflow.
Yet the vast majority of respondents (82.7%) were unaware of the Government’s Funding for Lending scheme. Similar numbers were unaware of UK Export Finance (88.9%), Enterprise Finance Guarantee (78.1%) and the British Business Bank (90.4%).
The survey also showed that more businesses in North East England (21.9%) felt access to finance had eased in the past 12 months than those who felt it had tightened (16.4%).
Chamber Head of Policy and Campaigns Jonathan Walker said:
“This survey clearly demonstrates a lack of knowledge among businesses of the Government backed finance support available to them. While they are not for everybody, these schemes can definitely help firms that are looking to grow.
To ensure the effective use of public money, the Government should be doing far more to promote these schemes and must make sure that they are structured in a way that makes them attractive to businesses.
We would also encourage businesses to explore the full range of funding options open to them, including both bank lending and private finance”.