The question of credit has always been a contentious one in the channel and in recent years so many small firms have despaired of ever getting money they have not even bothered to apply to the banks.
But confidence does seem to be returning and the latest review of the market from BDRC Continental indicates that those with existing overdrafts and credit facilities managed to do fairly well getting money and even for those that didn't the chances were not far off 50/50.
There continues to be a great deal of sceptisim around the effectiveness of the various schemes that the government has set up to ease the flow of credit, the likes of Project Merlin and the appeals process connected with it, and that will no doubt continue.
What the figures today show is that optimism is returning and there are genuine growth ambitions out there but unless more is done then the SME engine that drives the UK economy could be undermined.
For now things look like they have improved but the next few quarters are going to be crucial and will determine whether ambitions of growth become a reality.
This was first published in May 2012