North West businesses seek funding for growth, despite economic climate

James Fieldhouse

Nearly half of the North West’s mid-sized businesses will seek funding for growth in the next 12 to 17 months, says a new survey, despite the current economic climate.

According to BDO’s Rethinking the Economy survey, 47% of companies in the region intend to look for investment by the end of 2023, with more than a quarter accelerating fund raising plans in the next six to 11 months.

The research of 500 mid-sized businesses showed that the top two sources of funding for North West businesses are debt finance (38%) and public markets (29%), with government-backed schemes, such as Future Fund and Innovate UK, as well as investment trusts/VCTs, also on the financial radar.

James Fieldhouse, M&A managing director at BDO in the North West, said: “Regional businesses are facing a plethora of challenges that keep on mounting in the face of an impending recession.

“Despite this, there is still a clear appetite to seek and secure investment, as businesses look towards multiple sources of funding to meet strategic aims.”

He added: “With the investor market equally as ambitious in the region, eager to support entrepreneurial companies that wish to scale up at pace, we expect this level of interest by companies to have a positive effect on investment activity in the North West over the coming 12 to 18 months.”

The survey also highlighted the growth intentions of regional businesses, with nearly a quarter of companies stating that they intend to expand internationally in the future.

Of those businesses that currently operate overseas, 24% plan to expand their presence.

Ed Gibson, international tax partner at BDO in the North West, said: “Operating internationally brings with it a multitude of tax and regulatory considerations that can differ from one territory to the next.

“However, the financial rewards for establishing a strong footprint in complementary markets can be significant if planned and funded in the most appropriate way and North West businesses are clearly keen to capitalise on the opportunities this brings.”