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SMEs in UK show concerns over Bounce Back Loans Scheme

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The government’s Bounce Back Loans Scheme is running low and the deadline for CBILS is set for September end

Small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in the UK are concerned over the government’s Bounce Back Loans Scheme running low. In addition, the deadline for the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) is set for the end of September. 

Anil Stocker, CEO at MarketFinance, said, “The Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS) was a good short term fix for SMEs. It provided the necessary support during the lockdown but looking ahead, the CBILS cash will provide the impetus to do more. Not having the cash flow to sustain businesses at the back end of the year, could be disastrous for many of these SMEs.”

According to a research report published by MarketFinance, more than 39 percent of SMEs have taken a Bounce Back Loans Scheme to pay their suppliers. That said, 29 percent of them who are strengthening their business by creating ecommerce channels have taken it too. 

“It’s essential that businesses start looking beyond simply survival and begin evaluating how they can adapt their business to these Covid-conditions. There might be new ways to change the business model and get growth going again…,” Stocker said. “Securing government-backed funding now, before the deadline, is an opportunity for businesses to access the working capital they need to build for the longer term. The idea of these being “unprecedented times” has been thrown around a lot this year. Initiatives like the CBILS offer similarly unprecedented access to fee and interest-free funding – but only for a limited time.”

In fact, the survey found that 76 percent of SMEs might be interested in CBILS on the back of anticipated larger bills and tax dues towards the end of the year. For now, 63 percent are not fully aware of the deadline in terms of when they are expected to apply for it, a statement said. 

With Brexit drawing near, SMEs are concerned about the disruptions that might take place to the UK business landscape at large. Surprisingly, 77 percent of them believe they will only achieve 50 percent of their 2019 revenues—and one-third of them firmly believe that a no-deal exit might affect their business on many levels.

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