100% state-backed COVID loans to UK small businesses - Funding Options Comment

  • Simon Cureton, CEO at Funding Options

  • 28.04.2020 09:00 am
  • COVID-19 , Loans

The government’s decision to introduce 100% government-backed loans for independent UK businesses from next week is, on the face of it, a very positive development that has all the ingredients to deliver vital funds to those that need them the most quickly. In contrast to the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS), there is less risk for the lenders, less complex eligibility criteria without the subjectivity element, a simple form for business owners to fill in online and rapid delivery of loan funds within 24 hours of approval. Whilst very supportive of this development, it is critical the Bounce Back Loans scheme is administered & delivered as intended, in the timeframes envisaged and at scale, which didn't happen with CBILS. The Alternative Lenders are ideally set up to distribute Bounce Back Loans through the scheme and yet it would appear they may be excluded from participation based on accreditation. It would be great to see HMG/HMT embrace the full ecosystem of lenders in the SME sector to maximise the speed of distribution and we await further details in the coming days. The clear priority for all participants in this sector, of course, is that independent UK businesses receive critical financial support and in that context, yesterday’s announcement is an excellent step forward.

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