Even a fainting pageboy was unable to distract the Queen from delivering her speech yesterday at the opening of Parliament.
Hope for the next 12 months
The speech marks the beginning of a new parliament year, informing the public of the main policies that will be the focus for MPs up until the next election. This year the Queen announced a number of policies aimed at helping UK businesses.
Of the Small Businesses Bill, she read, “it will support small businesses by cutting bureaucracy and enabling them to access finance”. Alongside increased access to finance there will be new legislation for high paid public sector workers, minimum wage rules and changes to zero hours contracts.
The problem? Awareness
Right now, up and down the UK, there are business owners crying out for practical finance options but unaware that there are alternatives to the big five high street banks. Consequently, when turned away by the banks many businesses bin their growth plans instead of looking for alternative funding.
In the Queen’s speech there was a focus on legislation to kickstart growth in the economy, and of course if there is better access to finance for small business there’s more potential for growth. Our CEO, Anil Stocker, said, “the growth of small businesses can play a major role in the UK’s economic recovery, but much of this growth is held back due to lack of available finance”.
The solution? Increasing bank referrals
The plans announced by the Queen are to encourage high street banks to refer businesses to alternatives if they’re unable to help with a loan in the first instance.
That’s great news for MarketInvoice, along with other alternative finance providers, who can hope to see leads from banks after the bill is passed over the next 12 months.
Hopefully the new bill will push for banks to provide small businesses information on different funding options, increasing awareness. It’s a focus for the existing Alternative Business Funding initiative, a collaboration of non-bank funders which we’re proud to be a part of. Their website asks questions around the circumstances of each business referral, leading to recommendations as to which finance option might be most appropriate.
We look forward to seeing the bill debated in parliament- here’s to greater awareness and more bank referrals in 2015!