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East Midlands Chamber News

Smith Cooper comments on £2.7bn Government Covid-19 funding for the East Midlands

Data published by the British Business Bank shows that businesses across the East Midlands have received £2.7bn via the two main government Covid-19 funding support schemes since March 2020.

The data considers both the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS), delivered by the government-owned British Business Bank through 50+ accredited lenders and partners, and the Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS), both of which were implemented to help businesses in every corner of the UK access the emergency finance they needed during the Covid-19 outbreak.

Fast Facts – Government support for the East Midlands to date:

  • CBILS scheme - 3,300 loans, worth close to £780m, have been offered to businesses across the East Midlands
  • Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS) – 67,00 loans, worth almost £2bn, have been offered to businesses across the East Midlands
  • The East Midlands received 7% of the national total lent to businesses, in line with the region’s respective share of the UK business population of 6%

A surge in alternative funding opportunities

John Farnsworth (pictured), Head of Smith Cooper Corporate Finance, part of Smith Cooper, comments: “The rapid onset of lockdown created many challenges for most businesses in one way or another, to which the Government responded by rolling out surprisingly generous and widespread support measures. These measures have undoubtedly helped many businesses stabilise and weather the COVID-19 storm, but the real test will be in the Autumn and early 2021, after the measures have been withdrawn.”

“There is undoubtedly concern around the impact this withdrawal of many of the Governments support schemes; which is likely to lead to a wave of businesses needing additional funding support through Q4 on Q1 of next year.”

“Although trading in the current climate is undoubtedly higher risk, many funding experts anticipate a surge in their funding activity in the coming months, confident that a recovery can be made. Traditional forms of high-street lending will remain an option, but there are also alternative forms of lending, including private equity and asset-based lending. Whilst the funders that we work alongside are doubtless taking a more thoughtful and cautious approach, appetite remains; now is the time for us to work alongside businesses and their funders to develop creative new structures.”

Here for you

In these unprecedented times, the impact of the coronavirus continues to place significant pressure on many businesses and individuals. Seeking advice from the right advisors at the right time, sourcing the right support for your business, and optimising the resources available to you are all key components in future-proofing your business.

With an extensive network of contacts, Smith Cooper is well-placed to assist clients through challenging periods. If you’d like to speak with a member of the Corporate Finance team, please get in touch. Alternatively, to find out more about the support that’s currently still available, including key support dates, visit our Covid-19 support hub.

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