This survey, undertaken by Ipsos MORI for the British Business Bank, follows on from the previous “SME Journey” surveys from 2012 to 2019 to explore SME awareness of different types of external finance and their experience of raising finance. This year, the survey focused on accessing Covid-19 specific financial support and the impact the pandemic has had on businesses.
The findings feed into the British Business Bank’s Small Business Finance Markets report to assess how finance markets have changed.
This year’s findings show that a record level of smaller businesses sought external financial support in 2020, with further significant demand expected in 2021:
- Almost half (45%) of SMEs applied for external financial support in 2020, compared to 13% in 2019
- Gross bank lending to SMEs up 82% to £104bn, with significant further demand expected in 2021
- Businesses shifted away from most traditional forms of external finance to utilise government-backed finance schemes and support.
- In the 4th quarter of 2020, 33% of smaller businesses expected to shrink over the next 12 months
- 89% of businesses seeking finance in 2020 did so because of the impact of Covid-19
Full findings can be found here
In addition to the Small Business Finance Survey, British Business Bank commissioned Ipsos MORI to undertake an additional survey of businesses who applied for the Bounce Bank Loan Scheme, available here and a survey of medium sized businesses (firms with a turnover of at least £45 million) available here.
4,125 CATI interviews conducted 27 August and 25 November 2020 with average interview length of 25-29 minutes:
- SMEs defined as businesses having 0 to 249 employees
- Quotas were set by employment size, sector and region
- Interviews with person responsible for managing business finances
- Data was weighted to reflect the 2020 SME business profile published by the Office for National Statistics.