Over 1,000 small business owners applied for a loan during Christmas

More than 1,200 small business owners applied for a loan between Christmas and New Year’s Day, according to one of Europe’s fastest-growing business lenders.

And on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day, whilst families across the country were tucking into dinner, popping Champagne corks or nursing a hangover, nearly 300 businesses sought extra cash.

Iwoca, which provides loans of up to £200,000 to small businesses and complied the data, added that a further 135 applications were received on New Year’s Day.

Seema Desai, chief operating officer at the company, which provides loans of up to £200,000 to small and micro businesses across the UK, Germany and Poland, explained: “From developing marketing strategies to negotiating with suppliers, small business owners face ever-increasing demands on their time.

“As a result, we’re seeing greater demand from SMEs for finance outside of traditional banking hours as they seek greater flexibility in how they access financial support.”

The total number of applications between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Day was also up 5% on the same period last year.

She added that demand for finance at all times of day and night is not restricted to the holiday season, with 55% of small businesses in the first half of last year applying out of hours.

A third of those were done at weekends.

By comparison, 48% all applications in 2017 and 2018 to iwoca were made out of hours and just 16% on the weekend.

The details come just months after iwoca, alongside Atom Bank, Currencycloud and Modulr won £10 million each in funding from the Banking Competition Remedies (BCR) fund, set up in the wake of the Royal Bank of Scotland’s bailout.

Bosses hope the cash will help the lender’s customer base grow to 150,000 and offer up loans worth £5 billion.

Last week, HM Revenue and Customs revealed that 3,003 people submitted their tax return on Christmas Day, up 15% on the 2018 date, including 248 taxpayers who sent off their forms by 8am on Christmas morning.

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