This report provides an analysis of rural and urban businesses’ access to external finance in England. Using the UK Longitudinal Small Business Survey 2015-2020, it sets out to understand the journey of accessing finance, proposed by Fraser et al. (2015).
We first consider demand for external finance of rural and urban businesses outside London. We then examine discouraged borrowing – the decision not to apply for finance even when firms express a need. Lastly, we explore rejection decisions made by financial providers once firms had applied.
It is the second study into businesses’ access to external finance – our first focused on the use of finance and impact on growth.