The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has today published the results from its latest Monthly Business Survey. The results from 250 companies across the UK show that 90 per cent of businesses are unaware that their bank offered or utilised the government’s Enterprise Finance Guarantee scheme. Just one firm reported being offered a loan based on the government’s flagship scheme.With cash-flow remaining a serious problem, 61 per cent of firms reported they were being squeezed by late payments. Furthermore, nearly a third of businesses with an overdraft reported that their banks had imposed increased overdraft fees on them in the last six months.The key findings from the survey include: 90% of respondents were not aware that their bank offered or utilised the Enterprise Finance Guarantee scheme.

61% of firms stated that the late payment of invoices is affecting their cash-flow position.

Over half of businesses seeking a bank loan either failed to secure one or did not receive a loan that met their actual financial needs.Of the businesses that had an overdraft (60% of the sample), 30% stated that they had seen an increase in the fees associated with that overdraft facility over the last 6 months.

Commenting, David Frost, Director General of the BCC, said:"A lot more needs to be done to raise awareness of these schemes. It is business that will drive the UK out of recession and it is vital that banks support companies through what is an extraordinarily difficult time.“The government needs to address the growing pressures on cash-flow within businesses, even beyond relationships with banks. This means scrapping the planned rise in National Insurance Contributions, calling time on harmful extra regulation and freezing the national minimum wage.”