Is Business Confidence at an all-time low?
The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has confirmed that over 250, 000 small businesses say they will go out of business during 2021 if they do not receive financial support. This will affect over 5% of the SME’s in the UK.
During the pandemic the government has supported the hospitality, retail and leisure sectors with various support packages and initiatives such as ‘Eat Out to Help Out’, business rates relief and cash grants, as well as CBILS and Bounce Back Loans. But there are still many other sectors where businesses are struggling that haven’t had the same government help.
Equally the furlough package has not catered for everyone, with Company Directors and those newly self-employed feeling the strain.
Business confidence is at an all-time low and this is unlikely to improve when the furlough scheme ends in April 2021, with many businesses likely to make staff redundant. The FSB report that 1 in 5 businesses have reduced their headcounts from October to December 2020 with 1 in 7 expected to do so in the first quarter of 2021.
It is clear that businesses need help but more importantly they need cash.
Last week the FSB published a 5-point plan to resuscitate small businesses currently on life support, but will this be enough?
Luckily, it isn’t all doom and gloom. Yes, of course businesses are facing struggles and challenges. But banks are lending be it through their own funding products or via CBILS and BBLS. Businesses are getting support through funding from banks.
In addition, brokers are playing their part. The National Association of Commercial Finance Brokers has revealed that its members originated £27.3bn of lending in 2020 which included £6.1bn worth of CBILS facilities.
RECENT SUPREME COURT RULING
In other good news, last Friday, the Supreme Court ruled to back small firms over COVID-19 insurance claims, that will force insurers to pay out on coronavirus business interruption claims worth up to at least £1.2bn for 370,000 small businesses.
This ruling will provide a lifetime to many struggling businesses as over 60 insurers such as Hiscox, Arch, Argenta, and RSA will now pay out on many policies taken out in relation to business interruption.
Although this ruling will not directly affect all insurance policies, it will provide guidance, with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the insurance sector and the Financial Ombudsman using this judgement to guide their decisions in other cases.
Business owners need to look at all of their funding options in order to free up cash. There are many funding options available to small business including:
- Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS)
- Unsecured business loans
- Asset finance
- Invoice finance
- Overdraft or the extension of an existing overdraft
- Pension – led funding
- Residential re-mortgage to raise funds to inject into the business
- Bridging loans against a property asset to inject funds into the business
CONSIDER A COMMERCIAL FINANCE BROKER
Whilst the high street banks are of course an option, it might be worth business owners seeking out a good commercial finance broker, who can help to assess a situation and advise on the various funding options available.
If you don’t know where to start, contact the National Association of Commercial Finance Brokers (NACFB) www.nacfb.org who as the UK’s largest independent trade body for commercial finance brokers have over 2,000 members who are all signed up to an industry recognised Code of Practice.
Alternatively, you could contact us at Funding Track (www.fundingtrack.com) if you have any questions or require any further information.