At MarketFinance we’ve been helping small businesses access the funding they need to grow since 2011. This year has obviously presented enormous hurdles for many businesses, of every size. As a lender, we’ve seen firsthand how challenging the pandemic has been for SMEs across all industries, sectors and regions.

Over the past nine months we’ve been able to support small businesses across the country and have taken the time to document and record the changes and impacts we’ve noticed. While we’re under no illusion that recovery will be immediate, we have noticed signs of strength returning to small businesses. In our 2020 Business Insights Report, we've created a snapshot to understand how this ‘unprecedented’ year has affected different businesses.

The report pulls together key lending insights from 2020, including:

  • The amount we lent to businesses across the UK between January and November 2020 increased by almost 4% year on year.
  • The profile of companies using invoice finance changed significantly during COVID-19. Businesses using invoice finance were bigger than usual and received 83% more financing on average than they did in 2019.
  • Businesses in London, Hertfordshire, the East of England and the South West experienced the greatest drops in invoice financing year on year. These areas are hubs for the Administrative + Support Service and Information + Communication industries.
  • Demand for business loans soared with a 13-fold increase in loans between Q2 and Q3 2020. The majority of loans (60%) were made to businesses in Administrative & Support Services, Wholesale & Retail Trade, Manufacturing and Construction.

It’s our strong belief that small businesses will play a pivotal role in the UK’s economic recovery. Despite our second national lockdown, and strict regional restrictions, we’re seeing invoice finance begin to grow again. Although a lot of businesses have felt a negative impact over the past year, many have executed successful pivots and taken advantage of new opportunities that have presented themselves. At MarketFinance, we’re hopeful that this signals we’re past the worst of the situation.

Government-backed loan schemes, grants and tax holidays have helped keep businesses afloat. It’s also been encouraging to see business support networks around the country rally together to support businesses throughout the year. We expect this to continue into the next chapter. And what we’d like to see now is a move towards growth across lots of sectors, not just for the obvious winners. As we end this testing year, we’re looking at 2020 excited to carry on providing SMEs with the working capital they need to grow, innovate and build towards a successful future.

Click here to read the full report.