The FSB has reported that about a third of all owners of small businesses in Northern Ireland are unable to procure a loan or line of credit from banks. They have to come up with money from their own pockets and borrow from friends and family just to keep going, much less thrive and grow. The head of external affairs for the Federation of Small Businesses, Roger Pollen, said banks are not doing enough to support the growth of these crucial enterprises.
The majority of privately owned businesses in Northern Ireland employ less than 10 workers, but they are meant to take up a good bit of the slack in jobs lost from government spending cuts and downsizing in big businesses. FSB has said that the government needs to put pressure on banks to make more affordable funding available to small business owners.
Mr. Pollen said the relationship between lenders and SMB owners has deteriorated over the past few years. Rates have gone up even though BofE has kept its rate at a record low. Entrepreneurs with start-up businesses are seeing their applications for credit denied or unaffordable, and as a result many small businesses are struggling or giving up altogether.