Business groups, including CBI, FSB, BCC showed their reaction to the Chancellor’s announcement of the expansion of the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS).
The Chancellor announced that the CBILS has been extended ‘so more small businesses can benefit’, and not just those unable to secure regular commercial financing. Additionally, Mr Sunak announced a new scheme to ‘bolster support for larger firms not currently eligible for loans’.
Dame Carolyn Fairbairn, Director-General, CBI (Confederation of British Industry) said on changes to CBILS:
“The Chancellor’s measures are a big step forward. They will help deliver cash faster to firms battling for survival in the headwinds of the pandemic.”
“By providing more support for mid-tier companies, they are backing our most significant and iconic regional employers. These firms number in the thousands and make a huge contribution to the economy, so it’s good to see them getting the support they deserve.”
He hugely welcomed changes to CBILS and wished for more detail and a clear time frame. He also praised the government’s announcements for an unprecedented level of economic support each week.
Dame further stated, “Reforms to CBILS for firms up to £45 million will simplify the process. And make it easier for loans to reach smaller businesses struggling for cash. Alongside, banks are working at breakneck speed to deliver loans to firms most in need.”
Business groups’ positive and constructive reaction on CBILS will definitely help the economy.
BCC is also glad that the Chancellor is listening and responding to the real-world concerns of the UK’s firms.
Adam Marshall, Director-General, BCC (British Chambers of Commerce) stated:
“Improvements to the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan scheme will help firms get access to cash more quickly. And the announcement of a new loan scheme for mid-sized companies closes a significant gap in existing support.
“Chambers of Commerce will continue to work with the government and the banks to ensure that support reaches businesses at the front line.”
The FSB too welcomed the overhaul of the Business Interruption Loan Scheme.
Mike Cherry, National Chairman of the FSB, commented:
‘Time is of the essence, and therefore we welcome government action in ensuring that any viable small business that has been negatively impacted by the coronavirus can now directly access the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) rather first being offered a bank’s own standard commercial lending product.’
Removing personal guarantees for all commercial loans below £250K is also very welcome. Taking on debt at the current time is a daunting prospect for many small businesses and the self-employed.
He furthermore added, ” We look forward to continuing our constructive engagement with the government to ensure that debt can be repaid in an affordable way that allows small businesses to recover from this crisis and to thrive again.”