Funding support increases to help firms overcome coronavirus shocks
This article was updated on 18/03/2020 and 20/03/2020 following updates to the terms of the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme.
Lenders are ramping up their support to British businesses in a bid to help them navigate the cash flow pressure and uncertainty being caused by COVID-19.
Some have announced that arrangement and review fees will be waived on new or increased overdrafts.
Similar support is available from some invoice finance providers, who release cash against the value of unpaid invoices and are keen to support businesses and their existing clients during these turbulent times.
During last Wednesday’s Budget, the government announced a new Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme that will see eligible businesses able to apply for loans of up to £5 million – with no interest due for the first 12 months – to minimise the disruption caused by the virus.
To encourage lending, the government will cover up to 80% of any losses from loans provided through the scheme, with no fees attached.
What challenges are businesses facing?
Businesses across the country have been implementing continuity plans to enable them to keep trading regardless of what lies in store over the next few days, weeks and months.
With infection spreading and the public being encouraged to self-isolate where necessary, it’s highly likely that many companies will be left to continue serving their clients whilst hindered and missing their usual staff numbers.
A more pressing challenge is one of cash flow, with payment delays likely from customers who find themselves in difficult positions being compounded by the costs involved of making businesses COVID-19 ready – for example, buying new computers to facilitate home working and stockpiling necessary supplies and materials.
So it’s encouraging to see lenders making moves to support UK businesses as much as possible.
At Hilton-Baird, we have been taking steps to ensure we can continue supporting our existing clients with any additional funding requirements they may have, as well as other businesses in need of cash flow support – whether for a short-term or longer-term requirement.
It very much remains business as usual for us, and as a commercial finance broker we are ready and able to continue supporting businesses in securing new and additional funding required for their current challenges.
The good news is that, currently, turnaround times in the industry remain fast. So we’d urge anyone who foresees having a requirement to act sooner rather than later as, once demand starts to rise, funding decisions may take longer.
To discuss any funding requirements you may have at this extraordinary time, or any cash flow challenges you’re facing, call our team on 0800 9774833 or request a call back.