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Flash Eurobarometer: SMEs' access to finance – survey results Published on: 21/09/2009, Last update: 24/09/2009

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DG Enterprise and Industry & European Central Bank.

This Flash Eurobarometer Access to finance (No 271) was commissioned by the European Commission’s DG Enterprise and Industry, in cooperation with the European Central Bank (ECB).<br/> It was set up to measure EU companies’ use of various sources of finance, to assess the extent to which companies face difficulties when it comes to accessing finance and to study companies’ expectations in terms of financing their future projects and developments.

The survey, which was conducted in EU member states, Croatia, Iceland and Norway, examined companies’:

  • past, current and future states: their financial situation, growth, innovative activities and need for external financing,
  • use of financial instruments, distinguishing between the use of internal funds and external sources of finance (e.g. debt financing)
  • experiences when applying for various types of external financing and reasons why they have not applied for such types of financing
  • use of loans as a source of financing: the popularity of loans and the most popular providers, size and purpose of taking out recent loans
  • perceptions about the availability of various types of external financing, and their views about changes in terms and conditions of bank financing
  • confidence to talk about future financing with banks and equity investors, and their preferences and expectations for future financing.

The survey shows that access to finance of small business is difficult, as the availability of bank loans has deteriorated for almost half of them. Despite this, over 70% of SMEs got all or part of the bank loan they wanted, and only about 15% were fully rejected. The results of the survey are available below. A corresponding report for the Euro Area can be found on the website of the European Central Bank .

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