Tech firms “must press ahead with growth plans”

Stephen Chapman's picture
by Stephen Chapman

Tech firms are being urged to continue to press ahead with expansion plans, by Mercia Asset Management.

The company, which says it’s invested more than £11m during the lockdown period, added that regions must get their “fair share of support”

“With nearly 80% of high-growth businesses based outside of London, regional SME investment will be crucial to economic recovery and to building the technology and healthcare industries of the future,” explained Mercia’s CEO Mark Payton.

“Regional SMEs have historically been underserved by finance providers. During the financial crisis of 2008 the funding disparity between London and the UK regions rapidly grew, with investment in the North and the Midlands falling by circa 70% compared to a 55% drop in London and the South East.

“It took until 2018 for regional investment to recover to pre-crisis levels. Since then we have made real progress in closing the gap and many regional cities are now thriving tech hubs. However, the predicted recession caused by COVID-19 could be even deeper than the last and we must ensure the regions don’t suffer disproportionately once again.”

Payton added that businesses also had a role to play:

“Some of the most exciting businesses we see today – including some of the healthcare firms involved in the fight against COVID-19 – started up in the wake of the last recession.

“Unlike then, this time there is investment capital available from Mercia and other sources. It is vital that entrepreneurs and managers with valid commercial prospects continue to pursue their ambitions as by doing so, they will be playing their own part in their region’s, and thus the UK’s economic recovery.”