COVID-19 Loans Scheme Provides Over £4 Billion to SMEs

Since the beginning of the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan scheme, lenders have provided over £4.1 billion to small companies, with more than £1.33 billion being provided in the week beginning 21 April, data has shown.

The banking and finance sector has provided over £4.1 billion to SMEs so far through the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan (CBIL) scheme, UK Finance revealed today, as part of a broad package of support to help businesses through these tough times.

Over £1.33 billion of loans have been approved in the week from 21 April to 28 April 2020. The number of loans provided through the scheme has increased by 8,638 over the same period to a total of 25,262, an increase of over 50%.

The banking and finance sector is providing a range of support to SMEs to ensure they can receive the help most appropriate to their needs, including capital repayment holidays, overdrafts, working capital extensions and asset-based finance.

Lenders have received 52,807 completed applications under the CBIL scheme so far. 25,262 of these applications have been approved to date, while more applications are still being processed and are expected to be approved over the coming days.

Following reforms to the CBIL scheme introduced this week by the Treasury and British Business Bank, supported by regulators, the largest lenders have announced they will not require forward-looking financial information and will only ask businesses for information and data they might reasonably be able to provide at speed. This should streamline the application process and help lenders provide financing to businesses who need it as quickly as possible.

The banking and finance sector is providing a range of support to SMEs to ensure they can receive the help most appropriate to their needs, including capital repayment holidays, overdrafts, working capital extensions and asset-based finance.

The British Business Bank approved four more lenders for accreditation under the CBIL scheme this week, bringing the total number of accredited lenders to 52. This means businesses can now access financial support under CBILS from a wide variety of firms.

The industry is also working closely with the Government and regulators to deliver the new Bounce Back Loans scheme which will make it quicker and easier for smaller businesses to apply for and access the finance they need.

Stephen Jones, Chief Executive of UK Finance, said:  “The banking and finance sector recognises the role we must play in getting the country through these tough times, and staff are working incredibly hard to get money to those viable businesses that need it.

More than £4 billion has been delivered to over 25,000 businesses so far through the CBIL scheme, as part of a broad package of support for SMEs including capital repayment holidays, extended overdrafts and asset-based finance.

The changes to the scheme announced by the Chancellor this week will enable lenders to streamline their application processes and help even more businesses access the support they need.

This extensive support will be complemented by the new Bounce Back Loans scheme targeted at smaller businesses, which lenders are now working at pace to get up and running from Monday.

Case Studies

Chosen Care Group – Homecare services for the elderly

Chosen Care Group ltd, which provides domiciliary care to elderly and vulnerable people in their own homes across Essex, received a £1 million loan from Barclays through the CBIL scheme. The loan will help allow Chosen Care Group ltd continue to provide valuable in-home care during the COVID-19 crisis. The company of 240 employees was nominated for the Great British Care Awards in 2018.

London Drum Company — Drum and percussion supplier

London Drum Company, a supplier of drum and percussion instruments based in Deptford, saw a significant drop in income after gigs and concerts across the world were cancelled or postponed due to COVID-19. The company received a large loan from HSBC UK under the CBIL scheme, which has enabled it to replace its lost income streams and purchase new equipment for its workshop space, an area of the business that can continue to grow despite the current climate. This will help put the business in a strong position to support the UK music industry when the government restrictions are lifted.

Pallet Plus – Logistics company transporting medical goods

Pallet Plus is a logistics company in Colchester, Essex, with 48 employees and a fleet of 28 vehicles. The company has enabled the transport of vital goods throughout the pandemic including Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), medical consumables and ventilators for delivery to the NHS and care homes, as well as goods to supermarkets. Pallet Plus also helped to deliver a donation of Easter Eggs given by the confectionary company Mars to NHS hospitals throughout the UK. The company received a £250,000 overdraft facility from Santander UK under the CBILS scheme, to reduce the impact on their business of potential losses caused by an increase in staff sickness or a decline in trading.

Regency Corporation — Independent group of pubs

The Regency Corporation runs 20 pubs across Sussex, each of which are run independently and tailored to the local community they are based in. The company secured a £250,000 loan from Lloyds Bank through the CBIL scheme after having to shut its pubs and furlough its 150 employees due to the COVID-19 lockdown. The loan will boost cashflow, meaning the business can pay its suppliers and its staff until its furlough grant is received from the government.

SXS Events Productions — Corporate events company

SXS Events Productions Limited, a corporate events company based in Bristol, has had to furlough non-essential staff as events have been postponed until later in the year. The firm recevied a £170,000 loan from NatWest through the CBIL scheme. This loan will give the business as long as possible to plan ahead for when events are rescheduled.

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