Enquiries in October were up by 132% on October last year and were up by 75% on the figures for September. Applicants came from a range of businesses including restaurants, bars and other consumer-facing enterprises.
Regionally, small businesses in London powered the growth with nearly two thirds of enquiries (64%) coming from the capital – more than six times the value of enquiries from the Midlands (9%), the region with the second biggest appetite for finance.
The NACFB said the figures provided a positive antidote to the uncertainty created by the EU referendum and the subsequent uncertainty it has created.
The strong monthly figures for October also follow robust annual figures posted by the NACFB in the summer, which revealed that £5.2bn of commercial mortgage business was written in the year ending 30th June 2016. This was up by more than half (55%) on the previous year – and the second strongest area of growth for NACFB’s members after bridging finance.
Paul Goodman, chairman of the NACFB, said: “Appetite for commercial mortgage finance is a good indicator of small business confidence as it shows firms are confident enough to commit to the long term.”
e added: “Last month we saw a huge uplift in enquiries from a variety of businesses – ranging from publicans and smaller retailers to hairdressers and restaurants – so it’s starting to feel like the SME community has got over any Brexit-related nerves.”