The growth potential of small businesses across the UK has come to a screeching halt as banks introduce strict lending criteria. Small businesses are facing a funding deficit and are unable to grow as they are running out of options to meet their cash-flow needs, this has ushered them into an age of financial uncertainty. Fortunately, specialist providers like Merchant Money are here to help by offering flexible lending products that are empowering and helping thousands of SMEs to overcome obstacles and achieve their long-term goals.

According to SME Web, high street banks are converting only 8% of SME loan applications, which has contributed to a £59 billion funding gap for SMEs. It seems banks, through their stringent underwriting process, have deemed majority of small businesses, who just happen to be the beating heart of the economy, unworthy of their help. This has driven struggling SMEs to explore the alternative finance sector to source the capital that they need to meet their growth-oriented business objectives.

"Just because traditional lenders do not have the appetite to help small business owners, does not mean they should be excluded from finance," says Jonathan Stern, Director and Head of Credit at Merchant Money. "At Merchant Money, we do not underwrite using a scorecard; our personal approach allows us to fund businesses that might not get approved elsewhere."

Merchant Money is an alternative business lender offering a diverse range of lending products to assist small businesses in the UK. Using a fast and systematic loan approval process, SMEs can complete their loan application within minutes and get an approval within 24 hours. Merchant Money's business-friendly qualities, namely speed, flexibility and reliability, have allowed them to achieve an impressive track record of success.

To date, Merchant Money has lent over £50,000,000 to faciitate the growth of small businesses in the UK. The majority of the companies that have sought financial support from Merchant Money have had successful applications and have received funding. Since their launch in 2013, Merchant Money has been helping businesses grow, but they too have grown, says Danny Girnun, Managing Director of Merchant Money: "Over the past few years, we have invested significantly in customer service, improving processes and product diversification. We have launched new products to meet our clients' needs, and we have grown the Merchant Money team. We are achieving our goal of becoming a client-centric business. We will continue to invest in those areas that will allow us to grow even more."

Their growth is not surprising, considering that they have become one of the go-to guys for bespoke business loans. On top of offering commercial loans of up to £500,000 with no LTV (loan-to-value) restriction, they offer the highly-innovative business cash advance. This product, also known as a Merchant Cash Advance, is repaid on the basis of future credit and debit card sales, meaning no fixed terms or monthly repayments are involved. This type of funding has been instrumental in driving sales for small businesses with seasonal or fluctuating sales, allowing them to pay as they trade.

Jonathan Stern: "The fact that we offer a variety of products - we just launched a new secured loan product - in combination with our personal approach, has allowed us to lend into most sectors across the UK SME space. We are not just limited to specific industries."

Merchant Money's personalised approach is miles ahead of other lenders in the market. They assess the needs of each business as well as the reasons these businesses are requesting funding. Majority of other lenders take a less personal approach, rendering the lending process slow and impersonal.

Considering that there is no one-size-fits-all financial solution, the team works hand in hand with clients, determining their needs to find them the most suitable financial product. Not only does this allow them to fast-track the underwriting process and assist more businesses, but it also allows them to build and sustain long-term relationships with their clients.

Ultimately, Merchant Money sees themselves as a partner and not merely a lender - and they are just getting started. UK Banks have caused financial turmoil and uncertainty for small businesses seeking fast funding for their growth-related needs. Merchant Money has taken it upon themselves to offset some of these funding woes and propel more small businesses forward for the foreseeable future.

"Over the coming years, there will be some uncertainty for small businesses in the UK. There is a need for businesses like Merchant Money who can provide continuous support. We're agile, flexible and commercial in the way that we underwrite, our mission for the foreseeable future is to continue offering small businesses the support they deserve,'' says Danny Girnun.