Since the introduction of the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS), national audit, tax, advisory and risk firm Crowe has helped Gloucestershire and Midlands companies raise £16.6 million with a 100% success rate – against a national average of 50%.
The news comes as the deadline for CBILS applications approaches at the end of September when this funding source is expected to dry up.
Andy Kay, Corporate Finance Partner in Crowe’s Midlands office, said: “CBILS is intended to provide financial support to businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and through it, they can raise up to £5 million in the shape of term loans, overdrafts, invoice finance or asset finance.
“The loans are in high demand, so it is very important to submit your application right first time.”
He said that delays due to errors in application can be the difference between business survival and jobs being kept or lost.
“We are extremely proud of maintaining a 100% success rate for our Midlands and Cheltenham clients. During incredibly straining times, this success rate has enabled organisations we are assisting to make other decisions with confidence that their CBILS application will be accepted. This sense of certainty and security should not be underestimated at a time like this.”
Kay said the success rate was a tribute to the diverse skills and experience of Crowe’s Midlands Corporate Finance team, including Senior Manager Julie Mole who has almost 30 years of banking experience.
“Businesses need to understand now whether they should be applying for CBILS as the scheme was introduced by the Chancellor on 23 March for only six months, leaving them just two months to get their applications in.
“We don’t yet know whether there will be any continuation of this scheme and we should plan for it to end.
“Having the right advisor is key. Businesses need to ensure qualified advice and thorough checks are in place to avoid seeing the cost of errors in application. Despite huge economic pressure on businesses, qualified advice and thorough checks should never be traded off against the need for speed.”
Since lockdown was announced on 23 March, the government has implemented several measures to help businesses and there are a number of routes businesses can consider to help manage the impact of the pandemic in the short-term, but also during the resulting economic downturn.
Chris Mould, Cheltenham office partner at Crowe, said: “With the latest measures announced at the summer Statement on 8 July, including the £1,000 bonus scheme for keeping furloughed staff employed, organisations must continue to assess how they will plan a route forward and should consider using their grant to help refashion and invest in a successful future as it emerges from COVID-19.
“When CBILS support is shut off at the end of September, business leaders will need to oversee a transition period which ensures their continued ability to raise finance where necessary, and we will be closely watching for further economic measures from the Chancellor.”
Crowe has been working throughout lockdown to support businesses of all sizes across the UK looking to achieve business continuity in these challenging times; constantly revising and updating the Crowe Funding Flowchart, including for the self-employed.