Resilient SME sector looking to overcome economic challenges

Gary Cain, director at Leonard Curtis, talks challenges and opportunities for SMEs in the next 12 months and how a collaborative, multi-skilled approach to funding is solving problems and realising ambitions for businesses in all sectors.


It is clear that the landscape for SMEs in the next 12 months will be a challenging one with issues well-documented around costs of energy, raw materials, and labour to name a few.

Latest GDP figures from the Office of National Statistics for July showed that the UK economy had shrunk by 0.5% – a worse than predicted outcome – driven in part by strike action across the public sector and poor weather, which also hit the construction and retail sector hard.

Slowdowns in the global economy are expected to have an impact too in the coming months, reducing revenues, which could lead to reduced demand for SMEs’ products and services. A general skills and talent shortage is making it difficult for businesses to find good staff right now.

Despite these challenges, the UK’s 5-million strong SME community is showing resilience and we are seeing some take advantage of opportunities. 

For those working within the digital sector widespread adoption of new technologies is a positive trend and a rise in interest in products and services to meet sustainability goals across all sectors is driving growth for businesses operating in this space, especially the innovators. 

To succeed in the coming months, SMEs will need to be agile and adaptable, and be able to react quickly to changing market conditions as well as being ready to review business strategy more regularly. Everyone needs to find ways to reduce costs, grow revenue, and attract and retain talent. 

For those looking for finance to meet growth plans we are already seeing greater proactivity in the marketplace. With a focus on embracing technology, improving efficiencies and automating processes we have seen an increased investment in plant and machinery and more confidence in sales and marketing to reach new customers and grow revenue. 

Whatever the need, working capital is almost always required to fuel the journey. While a challenging economic backdrop can make sourcing finance more difficult, there are a huge  number of funders in the market and a host of financial products available to solve the problem or realise the ambition.

That’s where guidance from a team of expert advisors can be invaluable to source the right kind of finance for the need,  so look for experienced support on funding at the earliest possible opportunity. 

Leonard Curtis provides a range of services under its funding arm which includes invoice finance, asset and property finance, cashflow loans, trade finance, stock finance, equity solutions. A specialist Debt Advisory team supports customers with funding for growth, restructuring/debt refinance, debt facility review and debt management.