An alternative lender has stepped up to the challenge presented by the Coronavirus by delivering £5.5 million in funding to small and medium sized businesses in the West Midlands in just under three months.
BCRS Business Loans has reported that, since going live with the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) on the 7th April, it has supported 68 businesses that have been affected by the pandemic.
Most businesses required a cash flow boost after being forced to postpone the fulfilment of contracts or temporarily stop trading.
By delivering over £5.5 million, BCRS Business Loans has not only supported the survival and stability of SMEs at this time, but it has also helped to safeguard the jobs of 826 local people and create 73 jobs. This has had an estimated economic impact of £30 million.
CBILS is delivered by the British Business Bank via accredited lenders such as BCRS to support the continued provision of finance to UK smaller businesses (SMEs) during the Covid-19 outbreak.
As part of the scheme, the Government make a Business Interruption Payment to cover the first 12 months of interest payments and any lender-levied fees, so smaller businesses benefit from no upfront costs and lower initial repayments.
Stephen Deakin, Chief Executive of BCRS Business Loans, said:
“Since being established in 2002, we have always been committed to supporting businesses that are unable to access finance from traditional lenders, so it was important to us that we help as many businesses as possible during the period of interruption caused by the Coronavirus. For us, no viable business should go unsupported.
“As a small team of 17, I am incredibly proud that we have supported 68 businesses to date via CBILS and how we have coped with the increased demand. To provide context, our lending has increased by 137% since lockdown was announced, which we are incredibly proud of.
“As a lender of intentional social and economic impact, we are delighted to see that our lending has enabled local businesses to safeguard so many jobs, which is incredibly important for the prosperity of our local communities and for the country as a whole as our economy starts to re-open.
“It has been inspiring to see how resilient and innovative businesses in the West Midlands have been during this pandemic; adapting their offering and service delivery methods to meet social distancing guidelines.
“SMEs are the backbone of our economy and a force for social good in the communities they operate in. As businesses begin to re-open in the coming weeks, I would urge everyone to support local businesses wherever possible to ensure a speedy economic recovery.”
The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) is managed by the British Business Bank on behalf of, and with the financial backing of the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and industrial Strategy (BEIS).
BCRS Business Loans support the growth of viable businesses in the West Midlands that are unable to access finance from traditional lenders, such as banks. The not-for-profit lender offers loans from £50,001 to £150,000 via CBILS and its loan process has been modified to adhere to social distancing guidelines.
To discover more about BCRS Business Loans visit www.bcrs.org.uk.