SMEs feel the love from their lenders


By Jessica Stanic

A new survey has revealed a jump in support for lenders from their business clients, with 77 percent of Australian private businesses claiming they feel supported by their lender.

The Grant Thornton International Business Report (IBR) – a survey which compares business expectations regarding access to finance, with how supportive they feel their lenders are being in the current climate – found that over three-quarters of Australian privately held businesses are feeling supported by their lender, while 41 percent are expecting finance to be much more accessible over the next 12 months.

However, red tape is still holding back businesses back, with 31 percent of Australian businesses stating that they are still challenged by the availability of skilled personnel and over one-third (35 percent) by increased government regulation, with red tape currently the greatest concern for entrepreneurs looking to expand.

According to Tony Markwell, national head of privately held business at Grant Thornton Australia, government intervention through stimulus activity, as well as a number of key tax reforms meant that businesses were required to adhere to stricter guidelines during the financial crisis.

He added that “as the as the banks begin to feel more confident in the economic direction of the market, PHBs will have the ability to grow their businesses even further.”

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