Time running out for COVID loans, firms are warned

Chancellor Rishi Sunak launched the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loans to help firms through the COVID-19 crisis but a Merseyside financing specialist says the deadline is looming. Tony McDonough reports

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The deadline for CBILS applications is looming, warns Bathgate


Merseyside business funding specialist Bathgate Business Finance has already arranged £7m in coronavirus support loans and is warning firms that the deadline for applications is looming.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak launched the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) at the height of the pandemic with the subsequent lockdown creating a cashflow crisis for many firms in Liverpool city region.

On September 30 the scheme will come to an end and West Kirby-based Bathgate Business Finance is urging those businesses who have not yet applied, or may require a top-up, to start the application process as soon as possible.

A new survey published on Monday by small business insurer, Simply Business, revealed almost a quarter of UK SMEs believe it will take them between 12 and 18 months to recover the revenues lost during the pandemic. And 17% fear a new lockdown could see their business close altogether.

Since the beginning of May, Bathgate has written more than £7m in CBILS deals, helping numerous businesses across the North West. In recent weeks, the business has encountered a number of companies who had previously been declined CBILS by their bank, but for which they have been able to secure CBILS loans.

Managing director, Gordon Andrews, said: “Each bank works to a specific set of parameters that not all businesses will meet.

“However, there is also a whole independent market out there with funders whose criteria you might meet, to which you can apply even if you have previously been declined elsewhere. A no to CBILS from your bank doesn’t always mean a no to CBILS completely.”

Gordon Andrews.
Bathgate Business Finance managing director, Gordon Andrews. Picture by Seyi/Essod Photography


Mr Andrews also highlighted the opportunity for those who had already received a loan on the CBILS to apply for a further loan or top-up from another lender which can also be CBILS Invoice finance or CBILS Asset finance.  In addition there are options for those who were not eligible for the Government-backed schemes.

He added: “We work with a panel of independent CBILS funders and a wide range of alternative finance companies who – even before the pandemic – had a history of funding solutions for companies that had previously struggled with traditional routes.

“We know that many businesses have fallen through the gaps with their own banks for the government schemes and we want them to know that there may be alternative funding options out there for them.”

The CBILS application deadline is September 30, 2020, with a completion deadline now extended to November 30, allowing more time to draw down on approved deals.

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