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Millbrook Business Finance, a broker in the business finance market, has today revealed details of its latest survey of SME business owners.

It found that for nearly half (48%) of respondents, cash flow is the largest single challenge that their businesses are facing. This is followed by the cost-of-living crisis (32%) and energy prices (30%).

Other issues businesses are having to deal with include supply chain disruption (26%); inflation (24%); recruitment (20%); building overheads (15%) and unexpected tax bills (8%).

For those that are planning on taking out finance in the next 12 months, the largest single reason (40%) is to smooth out issues with cash flow. Buying machinery/equipment and releasing equity were the next largest causes cited (20%).

The firm surveyed its extensive database of SME owners and directors in October 2023 to establish the leading pain points for businesses and their possible plans to take out finance over the next year.

Justin Amos (pictured), managing director of Millbrook Business Finance, commented: “It comes as no surprise that so many businesses are struggling with cash flow at the present time. Whenever the economy is weakened, late payments and supressed customer demand become much more commonplace, and this can dramatically worsen cash flow for SMEs.

“When you also factor in the ongoing cost of living crisis and painfully high energy costs then it’s no wonder businesses are facing significant financial challenges.”

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