Despite the efforts of the former Chancellor, investment into UK SMEs remains stagnant according to new research from solution-led alternative finance provider Nucleus Commercial Finance (NCF).
Aimed at bolstering the investments made by small and medium enterprises (SMEs), just 13% say they have increased investments as a result of the two year “super-deduction”. In fact, a greater percentage (16%) say they have in fact decreased investments in that period.
A closer look at the findings reveals that medium sized businesses are most likely to have upped their investment following the announcement (25%). However, even within this cohort a similar number of businesses (24%) claim to have reduced their outlay over this period. Across all other categories, businesses are far more likely to have decreased investment than upped their spend suggesting more work needs to be done to bridge the investment gap.
The issue sits at the heart of the UK recovery. UK companies invest just 10 percent of GDP each year in the UK, compared with 14% in rival countries. And when asked for their insight into the primary causes of this gap, after economic uncertainty (58%), it was a high tax burden (34%), uncertainty in where to invest (32%), and a lack of incentives from government (30%) that were identified.
With ‘growth and innovation’ (45%) and ‘managing rising overheads’ (39%) the key priorities for SMEs, delivering access is critical. One in five smaller businesses (16%) and more than a quarter of medium sized businesses (27%) identify challenges in securing lending as a key factor in the UK’s ‘investment gap’ compared to EU companies,
Chirag Shah, Founder and CEO of Nucleus Commercial Finance comments: “There are a host of ways that government can really get behind business and stimulate innovation by thinking creatively. Change in Number 10 offers a chance for a reset, a rethink, and a redoubling of efforts.
“UK SMEs are ambitious and hungry to grow, but it’s incredibly frustrating for them that too often the odds are seemingly stacked against them. It is imperative that the shake-up in Downing Street results in a more impactful business strategy from the Government. With its support, finance providers can then help businesses seize upon the growth opportunities and power the UK forward.”
Research carried out between 8th-15th June 2022 among 500 senior decision makers in UK small and medium enterprises.