When we planned this blog, things were a bit different. We were going to focus on advances of technology that help SMEs manage their cashflow. But then COVID-19 gripped the UK and it felt wrong not to acknowledge what is now a global pandemic.
By now, we’ve spoken to businesses in many sectors that are starting to see a slowdown. Think tourism, hospitality or even supply chains. In a matter of days, what was a theoretical question in a blog (How would your business trade through a rough patch?) is now sadly the reality for business owners up and down the country.
Finpoint is fortunate to be a partner of choice for a wide range of business support groups, which puts us in a unique position. For example, we have links with FSB and UK Finance, giving us an early view on:
- how to get information in the hands of SMEs swiftly, and
- the shape of the Coronavirus Business Interruption Lending Scheme
Based on these partnerships – and our original plan for this blog – we have put together a list of helpful resources. Things are moving fast, which may mean we need to revise the list, so please check back for the last update.
Take care with whom you share your data
Not all websites are created equal. Some are just nice ‘shopfronts’ promising you easy access to finance, with not much behind them. And during a crisis such as COVID-19, you can expect more of those to appear. Remember that criminals are experts at impersonating people, organisations and the police.
To get real help for your business finances, you can have peace of mind by going through trusted third parties. For example, FSB is a trusted business organisation and UK Finance a reputable industry body. Both have a track record of supporting small businesses for many years. Thanks to our technology being embedded in their business finance services, you can control who can access your data.
Learn more: Take Five to Stop Fraud is a national campaign offering straight-forward, impartial advice that helps prevent email, phone-based and online fraud – particularly where criminals impersonate trusted organisations.
Access finance fast, wherever your work takes you
Through to the use of technology, we can help you find finance fast. And it doesn’t matter if you are in the office or are working from home.
This is good news for business owners looking for an alternative, e.g. to a bank overdraft. You can enter a few bits of information in our secure platform and get an Instant Quote on-screen. We use APIs (Application Programming Interface) to make the Finpoint platform compatible with providers such as iwoca or Capital on Tap, who are currently seeking accreditation by British Business Bank for Government-backed lending. And we are looking to add more funding options as quickly as we can.
Stay in touch with your bank
If your business is losing revenue, or seeing your cashflow disrupted, as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, then you may be eligible for support from the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS). Since launch on 23 March 2020, the British Business Bank continues to work at ‘wholesale’ level with a wide range of lenders to support the continued provision of finance to UK businesses.
As of 27 April, there are now 50+ accredited lenders for CBILS supporting a wide range of business finance products. These include term loans and asset finance facilities with a term of up to six years and overdrafts and invoice finance facilities with a term of up to three years.
For information on how to apply, please visit our COVID-19 business loans page or visit the British Business Bank website. The number of accredited lenders for CBILS keeps growing, please see the latest news. And remember, FSB Funding Platform is free to use and with over 130 different providers features the largest selection of business finance providers in the UK.
Information hub for FSB members:
Trustworthy business support links
Business support checklist – make sure to contact HMRC about:
- Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme: all UK employers with a PAYE scheme will be able to access support through a new online portal. Calculate out how much you can claim and then submit your claim
- Self-Employment Income Support Scheme: HMRC have launched a new scheme that will allow you to claim a taxable grant of 80% of your average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment covering 3 months, and capped at £7,500 altogether. This is a temporary scheme, but it may be extended. Current eligibility criteria are: people who 1) have trading profits of up to £50,000, 2) make the majority of their income being self-employed, 3) have a self-employed tax return for 2019. Please visit the GOV.UK online service
- Tax payment holidays : VAT payments will be deferred for 3 months, from 20 March 2020 through to 30 June 2020
- Information about business support grant funds are available online, subject to your business location. Please visit GOV.UK if your business is based in England. Or follow one of these links if you are based in Northern Ireland, Scotland or Wales
Business support checklist – make sure to contact your local authority about:
- If your business qualifies, you may not need to pay business rates this year. Any enquiries on eligibility for, or provision of, the reliefs should be directed to the relevant local authority. Guidance for local authorities on the business rates holiday is expected to be published by 20 March
- Various announcements have been made about cash grants, and it is worth checking your local authority website for more information. These business grant schemes were announced at Budget on 11 March 2020, and the level of funding was increased in a statement from the Chancellor on 17 March 2020. Download the online report on the amount of funding local authorities have paid to businesses
Business support checklist – make sure to contact Companies House about:
- Companies House will give businesses an additional 3 months to file accounts to help avoid penalties as companies deal with the impact of COVID-19
How we help
FSB Funding Platform is free to use for members. We’re 100% transparent about fees and rates, and give you access to the UK’s largest panel of business lenders. We’re also 100% independent. Our only interest is in making sure you get the right funding option for your business need.
Want to know more? Speak to us about funding or your financial planning needs.