More than one-quarter of UK businesses expect revenues to grow by more than 10% in 2019, despite concerns over the potential impact of Brexit.
According to a report from asset-based lender Independent Growth Finance (IGF), their growth ambitions come despite nine out of 10 saying they have concerns about the future of the economy.
IGF’s Powering Freedom Report found that, among British businesses turning over between £1 million and £500 million, 69% of companies expect an increase in revenues in 2019.
To facilitate these ambitions, 71% of businesses are seeking an average of £1.1 million of funding over the next 12 months. This will be used to finance key areas of investment including technology (37%), staff retention (30%) and marketing (27%).
However, traditional lending channels remain slow, with 53% of businesses typically having to wait at least a month for a funding decision in 2018, while nearly one-third have waited three months or more.
As a result, more businesses are considering alternative forms of finance, IGF executives say.
While traditional bank funding remains the top source of finance (67%), the report found that 27% of businesses now use invoice financing and 22% use other asset-based lending facilities.
John Onslow, chief executive officer of IGF, said: “British SMEs are the lifeblood of this country. It is encouraging to hear how many are forecasting meaningful growth in 2019.
“Such a large number of businesses seeking more than £1.1 million in funding shows that businesses want to seize control of their financial futures. Yet our findings suggest many struggle to find quick and flexible funding. With uncertainty on the horizon, SMEs are refusing to stand still. Instead they are pushing for ambitious growth and alternative funding solutions.”