Access to finance is vital

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Access to finance key to SME recovery – ACCA Writing in City A.M., Claire Bennison, head of ACCA UK, reveals how a survey by the organisation found a varied picture of sentiment among SMEs with anxiety, uncertainty and stress plaguing business owners as they navigate the next stage of the pandemic. Owners reported a sharp rise in stress in June, Bennison says, as the country started to reopen while in May, they reported feeling “paralysed by mixed messages” as they grappled with the constantly changing health crisis and the emergence of the Delta variant. The ACCA’s latest tracker results show that businesses are now back trading at or above the level they expected, but they are struggling to obtain even the most traditional form of finance, such as an overdraft. Bennison appeals to the financial services sector to support small businesses as loan repayments kick in. “They need access to finance that doesn’t lead to personal debt that can really impact their mental health.”

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