According to new data from the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) Insights Unit, accessing finance is becoming more difficult for a large number of UK SMEs. 49% of businesses surveyed who accessed finance felt that getting funding had become more challenging over the past three years. Only 13% said it was getting easier. The BCC’s latest survey of business conditions also reveals that 70% of the 553 firms surveyed – mainly SMEs – have not accessed finance from an external provider in the past twelve months. Firms with more than fifty employees are more likely to have accessed finance (72%) compared to smaller firms (58%). The majority of respondents (51%) who sought finance said cash flow was the main reason. To read the BCC’s news release, go to