The latest figures from the Asset Based Finance Association (ABFA) have revealed the increasing value of invoice finance to smaller businesses across the UK, as the economic recovery strengthens. There was a 3% rise in firms with a turnover of between £0 - £500,000 utilising invoice finance facilities, such as invoice factoring or invoice discounting, over the last quarter. More than 15,000 small businesses now have asset based finance facilities, the highest figure for more than three years. Sales from businesses with asset based finance have risen 9% on this time last year, standing at £63 billion. Funding volumes to clients have also risen over the last year, with £16.3bn provided to businesses in 2013, an increase of 6%. This is in stark contrast to the contraction seen in overall lending to UK businesses, down 2% since the same period in 2012. Chief executive of the Asset Based Finance Association, Kate Sharp, said: “It is extremely heartening to see so many of the smallest businesses choosing to use asset based finance to fund their growth. Having recently surveyed accountants we know they say that access to funding is still a major issue for their clients”. "With some signs of confidence returning it becomes ever more important that firms can take advantage of the new opportunities that growth presents. This is where asset based finance already plays an important part, and our industry is ready and willing to do more to help fund the recovery,” she concluded.Andy Grantham, SBF Sales & Marketing Director, said: “Our doors are very much open to small businesses across the UK in need of a viable, sustainable alternative finance solution”. “We currently fund a wide range of businesses of all shapes and sizes, which have seen the benefit of having access to a funding solution which is both flexible and able to grow in line with their business”, he added.