ThinCats, the leading alternative lender to mid-sized UK SMEs is calling on the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak MP, to extend the current deadlines for the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) and the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS).
A recent clarification from the British Business Bank outlined that the current deadline for CBILS applications is 30 September 2020 and for CLBILS applications is 20 October. Lenders receiving applications before these deadlines must complete the funding process for CBILS before the end of November and for CLBILS before the end of December.
While ThinCats welcomes the extra clarity around the current deadlines, it believes extending the application deadline for both schemes until spring 2021 will help many businesses who currently have sufficient cash to survive in the short term but may need additional working capital and growth capital beyond September.
In a letter to the Chancellor, ThinCats adds that given the financial impact of winding down the furlough scheme, continuing uncertainty around the economy and potential further lockdowns over the autumn and winter months, lenders will be cautious about lending without some element of government guarantee.
Ravi Anand, Managing Director, ThinCats, “Without doubt the Government schemes to support SMEs during the Covid-19 pandemic have been incredibly helpful. However, from speaking to our borrowers, many are moving from rescue phase into recovery and these businesses are beginning to look for second stage funding for growth and working capital.
“At the moment, many businesses, especially those who borrow based on cashflow, are not yet operating at pre-Covid levels. Without the partial government guarantee provided by the schemes, it becomes difficult for banks and other lenders to support these businesses. There is a risk of creating a liquidity squeeze at the very time when businesses can see a way forward.
“The opportunity exists to provide some longer-term certainty to businesses by continuing to encourage lenders to provide funding, which is why we are urging the Government to extend both schemes to the end of the financial year next April.”