An alternative to CBILS

Broker and ‘own book’ flexibility could offer SMEs a lifeline in face of Government loan scheme difficulties

Business owners who are facing short term funding difficulties as a result of the low acceptance rate and lengthy timescales for the government’s Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS), could find a solution through a more flexible funding route, according to Yorkshire-based One Stop Business Finance.

During April, the company has been working with 131 SMEs who are seeking funding to support their businesses during this challenging time. Many are looking for an alternative to CBILS, which has been widely criticised because not all businesses are able to secure approval from lenders and, for those that do, there is a lengthy wait for up to six weeks between the loan decision and actually receiving funds.

Andrew Mackenzie, MD of One Stop Business Finance said: “The Government provisions for financial support through the Bounce Back Loans, Grants, VAT deferral and the Job Retention Scheme are exceptional. However, the uncertainly relating to CBILS, the fact that less than 1% of the £330Bn allocated has been lent and how quickly and easily these funds will be available is extremely challenging for many SMEs who need money now to support their business, not in several weeks’ time.

“For businesses in this situation, it is definitely worth talking with a business finance broker to explore alternative finance options. Despite the enormous impact of the coronavirus crisis on business, we are still able to arrange finance deals for clients, and because we deal with a large number of lenders we have much greater flexibility to find the most appropriate funding.

“And CBILS is just one of the options. One Stop Business Finance, for example, has its own funds which can be accessed in less than two weeks to provide short term loans from £50,000 – far faster than most other sources of finance. These are available to SMEs providing that we can verify that the loan can be made responsibly and with security to support it.”

Based near Pocklington in East Yorkshire, One Stop Business Finance provides secured loans from its own funding and through its network of finance providers for SME clients who are able to offer security for their debts. The company differs from mainstream banks by working to find tailored solutions for an SME’s particular circumstances, taking clients through a process to identify the most suitable and cost effective options and ensuring that responsible lending is at the heart of what they do.