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From panic buying in supermarkets to big-name businesses closing their doors, and the government hinting at lockdown for London, the coronavirus is becoming a growing concern across the UK.

Despite COVID-19 first being recorded in December, we still know very little about the latest strain of the coronavirus. What’s more, many businesses are now facing a turbulent year, with many owners wondering how they will keep their company afloat in the wake of the health crisis.

In this blog, The Think Team explains how your business could be affected, and we’ll update it as and when more information becomes available.

4ED4A980-1367-4548-9284-3CBE142D6E3E Created with sketchtool. How will the Coronavirus affect your business?

We are currently experiencing a high volume of calls from customers who are looking to navigate through the current economic crisis. While some businesses will still be able to function through office closures and working from home, other businesses, such as pubs and restaurants, are predicted to struggle and even close for good during the crisis.

4ED4A980-1367-4548-9284-3CBE142D6E3E Created with sketchtool. What Government help is available and how can you access it?

In his 2020 Budget speech, Chancellor Rishi Sunak revealed SMEs could expect £30 billion of support as well a number of new measures to help tackle the coronavirus. The welcome measures included

  • Think BulbSupport for those who need to pay statutory sick pay
  • Think BulbChanges to the benefits system to help employees on zero-hour contracts

The UK Government has also announced the following measures to help small businesses, including

  • Think BulbStatutory sick pay relief package for SMEs
  • Think Bulb12-month business rates holiday for all hospitality, leisure and retail companies in England
  • Think Bulb£10,000 grants for those who are eligible for small business rate relief or rural rate relief
  • Think Bulb£25,000 grants for businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure that have a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000
  • Think BulbLoans of up to £5 million to SMEs through the British Business Banks as part of the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS)
  • Think BulbNew lending facilities from the Bank of England to support cash flows for larger businesses
  • Think BulbAssistance with tax through HMRC Time To Pay scheme

4ED4A980-1367-4548-9284-3CBE142D6E3E Created with sketchtool. Business Loans

The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme facilitates business finance to smaller businesses that are eligible for funding, but unable to obtain finance due to having insufficient security to meet the lender’s standard requirements.

The borrower (you) always remains 100% liable for the debt. In this situation, CBILS provides the LENDER ONLY with a government-backed 80% guarantee against the outstanding facility balance, potentially enabling a ‘no’ credit decision from a lender to become a ‘yes’.

If you think a loan could be the right solution to help keep your business ticking over throughout the crisis, you need to be aware that the market for business finance is moving fast - some lenders are asking for security, while others are pulling out of the small business market completely.

But if you can find the right type of loan and provider for your needs, now could be a good time to sort your financing options. If you would like more information about which lenders are part of the CBIL scheme along with the type of support each can offer, contact our lending managers today on 0203 880 9880.

Jessica Court

Jessica Court

Jessica Court graduated from the University of Portsmouth in 2017 with a bachelor’s degree in Media Studies. She has previously worked within the In... Explore Author