Raising finance to grow your business is not about today, it is about tomorrow. The right finance package can be a positive force within your business, one which can be used to propel your business forward.
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When you’re looking for finance to grow, a lender will want to see a well constructed Business Plan. A great Plan sets out a clear vision for the future, a future in which you soar above your competition.
The whole process of raising finance can be a distraction and divert your attention away from what’s important. With mounting priorities it’s a case of which one has to wait. Typically raising finance is one task that can grind you down.
Opening our latest Business Finance Bulletin, as businesses get back on the path growth, what are their top priorities and actions? We look at the findings from the recent Hitachi Capital Business Finance Business Barometer report.
It’s not all good news for businesses though. We review the most recent Red Flag Alert report from Begbies Traynor which reveals a jump in the businesses which class themselves as in ‘significant financial distress. What actions can you take to keep on the right side of the track?
To wrap up this edition, a report from Dun and Bradstreet highlights that a continuation in late practices could hinder the hoped-for business recovery and growth during the remainder of this year.
As the economy kicks back into action, it’s not only businesses which are feeling more confident. Opening this latest Bulletin, we look at a number of lenders who are offering increased support to small businesses with new funding pots and enhanced terms.
Have you tried opening a business bank account during the last 12 months? If you have then no doubt it was a frustrating experience. The government seems to think so as well with the launch of a Treasury Select Committee investigation. What are they asking of the High Street banks?
To close, in the latest Lloyds Bank Recovery Tracker further good news about an improvement in business recovery. One sector stands out in seeing the signs of an early bounce back.
Here also is the transcript of this latest Business Finance Bulletin…
Increased access to finance for small businesses; banks questioned about their opening of new bank accounts; and business recovery starting to look strong. All of this in the latest Business Finance Bulletin.
Small Business Finance Support
It the weeks go by and I speak to more and more business owners, there’s one theme that’s constantly coming out and that’s an increased level of confidence. Yes, business owners are feeling a lot more optimistic about the future, and it’s not only business owners who are feeling more confident; it’s also lenders.
Over the last week or so, I’ve seen more lenders coming out and saying that they want to support businesses with increased access to finance. So let’s take a look at a couple of these examples. First up Bibby Financial Services. Bibbys are an invoice finance provider, and they’ve announced the creation of the Pandemic Recovery Fund. They’ve put aside £300 million to support small businesses. This is on the back of a survey they’ve carried out where 66% of small business owners say that they anticipate business being back to pre-COVID levels by September. Obviously all of that increased business brings working capital needs, and that’s where Bibby’s funds comes in.
Next step, is Nucleus Commercial Finance. They’ve announced some tweaks to their Business Growth Loan. Previously, you could have a loan for six months up to a maximum of £25,000. Obviously they are confident about the future, so they’ve now increased that loan term up to 12 months, and you can borrow up to a maximum of £50,000.
Next up, Yorkshire Building Society or YBS Commercial Mortgages. They’ve announced that for their semi-commercial mortgage range they’ve now introduced a 10 year fixed rate. That’s a real sign of confidence they’ve got in the marketplace.
Next up a new lender to the market, Go Business Loans. Go Business Loans have just launched offering limited companies and LLPs loans from £2,500 up to maximum of £20,000. You can apply online and you get notification of the decision within 24 hours. It is great to see a new lender coming into the marketplace, so well done to the team at Go Business Loans.
So overall you can see, it’s not just business owners who are confident about the future; it’s also lenders as well, which is a great signal or a great sign that perhaps better times are around the corner.
Opening a Business Bank Account
Have you tried opening a business bank account over the last 12 months? Well, if you did no doubt it was a highly frustrating experience. The high street banks in particular practically closed their doors to new customers. They just didn’t have the resources and the manpower to cope with the volume of requests for new bank accounts, particularly from sole traders who were trading through a personal account, but realised they needed to have a fully fledged business account in order to qualify for the CBILS and Bounce Back Loans. So as a result, the whole system ground to a halt.
So bad has it been that last week, the Treasury Select Committee actually wrote to a number of the banks being a Barclays, Lloyd’s, Nat West, Metro, Santander and HSBC asking them for comments on their account opening procedures.
They want to know how long does it take to open an account; Have you had any complaints; how you’ve responded to those complaints. Also a killer question, do you intend staying in the small business market?
All of these banks have to reply to the Treasury Select Committee letter by the 19th of May. So it’d be interesting to see what their responses are. I guess the fact that they’ve even received the letter may wake up some of them to think, Hey, we need to get back on track here and make it easy to open a business account. Obviously the economy can’t operate if people don’t have bank accounts, so this is why the government has taken a very keen interest on this.
It will be interesting to see what the response is from the banks and more importantly, what action they’re going to take to make it easier for businesses to open bank accounts.
Business Recovery Improvement
In the first segment of this Bulletin I highlighted that there’s been a definite increase in the feeling of confidence amongst UK small businesses. This has been born out by the latest Lloyds Bank Recovery Tracker. In a review of the 14 sectors that the tracker looks at, 11 of them have said they’ve seen an increase in business in March. In fact, the growth rate has been the highest since September 2020. So we can see there is definitely an increase in levels of activity in the UK economy.
The transport sector particularly, which covers not only logistics, but airlines, rail, and also the bus industry has seen a significant jump in activity. And that’s a really good positive sign that the UK economy is starting to move. So really good news. However, one thing I did cover in the previous bullets in that of course growth brings its own problems and that is access to cash to fuel your working capital need.
So with all of this growth going on, one thing I plead is to make sure that you watch your cashflow. If you need to have access to finance, make sure that you look at all the various options available to you, not just commercial loans, business loans, invoice finance, and asset finance, but also the new Recovery Loan Scheme. All of these are out there designed to support you as you start to grow again.
If you want to chat through any of these finance options, of course, just drop us an email info at businessloanservices.co.uk, and we’ll happily chat through all the various options with you. So great to see that the UK economy is back on the growth path, but watch out for that need for cash.
That’s it for another Bulletin and as ever I hope you enjoyed watching. If you did, please, don’t forget to give it a like, a share and of course, subscribe to this channel.
We open our latest Business Finance Bulletin with the good news that business confidence levels are on the up. The latest Business Barometer report from Hitachi Capital Business Finance reveals that an increasing number of business owners are predicting improved months ahead.
Cashflow can be tight for many businesses, but particularly for start ups. Just Cashflow, the short term finance lender, has announced that alongside their new Business Account, qualifying start ups can now access their Revolving Credit Facility.
To wrap up this Bulletin, we review the latest company insolvency figures which highlight that businesses potentially in trouble continue to be protected by the various government support schemes.
You can read the transcript of this Bulletin below…
Business confidence is starting to return; the short-term lender Just cashflow extends supports to startups; and company insolvencies still remain low. All of this in the latest Business Finance Bulletin.
Business Finance Confidence
Let’s opened this bulletin with some good news. Hitachi Capital Business Finance, as part of their quarterly Business Barometer series, have spoken to approximately 1,300 small business owners and the resounding message is that confidence is beginning to return to the marketplace.
Let’s have a look at those businesses who say that they are predicting growth.
Well, three months ago, 26% of businesses said that they were predicting growth for their business.
Forward three months to today, that figure now stands at 36% of business owners saying that they are planning growth over the coming months. That’s a quite a big increase and that’s a big vote of confidence for the UK economy.
Let’s look at the flip side of businesses who were fearing collapse. Well, 12 months ago, the survey found that 29% of small business owners said that they were fearful that their businesses would not survive.
Now, 12 months later, that figure stands at just 7%. That’s a significant fall and just shows how much confidence is now starting to come back into the market place. But of course, it’s not all plain sailing.
I just want to make you aware of one key thing to look out for and that is growth brings its own problems, particularly in terms of cashflow. When you start growing again, particularly if you’re growing rapidly, there’s a big demand on your cash. You need to buy in stock. You need perhaps to fund the growing debtor book, all of this needs cash.
So do watch that and make sure that you are forecasting your cash flow requirements ahead to make sure that you don’t run out of funds, but overall, a really good vote of confidence for the UK economy.
Just Cashflow Supports Start Ups
Are you planning to start up a new business or you have recently started one? I’m sure you’ll agree that the one thing that can hold you back is cash or more particularly cashflow.
Poor cashflow can be a killer for any business, but for startups in particular it can be very challenging.
The short-term finance provider Just Cashflow has announced, it is now going to support qualifying startups by giving them access to their Revolving Credit Facility, which is a facility up to the amount of £10,000. This sits alongside their newly launched business account which is available via a mobile phone or a desktop app. And it does all of the things that a traditional bank account will do. You can make payments online, both in and out. You have a master debit card as well. It integrates with various software accounting packages.
So it really is a good alternative to your main high street banks and particularly of interest of course to startups, where you may be able to access this Revolving Credit Facility up to £10,000. This facility acts essentially like an overdraft limit where often times when you need to make payments out, but you haven’t got the cash in from your clients yet; it acts like a bridge between cash in and cash out a really useful facility for startups.
If you want to know more about the Revolving Credit Facility and also the new business account, just go along to the just cashflow website, which is www.just-cashflow.com. A great new service by Just Cashflow and good to see that people are out there supporting new start ups.
Let’s take our usual monthly look at company insolvency figures. That’s a bit of a depressing topic, of course, but it’s really important that you watch this, particularly if you provide credit to your customers, by giving them 30, 60, 90 days before paying you. You really need to watch the trends going out there to make sure you don’t get caught out.
The figures as I’ve reported in previous bulletins continue to be very low, which is puzzling compared to where UK economy is at the moment in terms of the stresses out there. The latest figures have been released by the Insolvency Service for March, 2021. And in that month, they were 992 firms that went into some form of insolvency arrangement. Now compared to March, 2020, that is down 20%. And that’s the puzzle. You’ve got lots of stresses in the economy, and yet a lower number of businesses are entering into insolvency compared to March, 2020.
If you wind it back a further 12 months to March, 2019, this figure is down a further 37%. So again, a very large drop in the number of businesses going into insolvency.
But of course, the reason behind this is the level of government support, via bounce backs and the CBILs loans that were given; the furlough or the various grants. But we know all of that is now coming to an end or has come to an end. The distresses will now start to come through.
The other thing of course is the perils that come with growth. And I mentioned in the first segment, you’ve got to watch out when you grow your businesses; growth brings an increased demand for cash. And if you can’t access that, then you may get into trouble. So if you are providing credit, just keep an eye on those firms, making sure that they are financially sound.
Also if you are one of the businesses suffering financially, make sure that you take the appropriate advice. Go speak to your financial advisor, your accountant, or seek out a licensed insolvency practitioner in order to make sure that you seek out the correct advice.
That’s it for this Bulletin. As ever, I hope you liked it and if you did, please, don’t forget to give it a like, a share and of course, subscribe to this channel.
So that’s it and I look forward to being with you next time In the meantime, have a profitable, successful and safe week.
On 6th April the Recovery Loan Scheme was launched. Replacing the Bounce Back Loan and CBILS the new scheme is designed to support businesses in need of growth funding. We look at how the scheme works and how it could benefit your business.
As businesses focus on getting back on track no one can ignore the level of debt firms accessed in 2020. We review a report from UK Finance which lays bare the extent of debt businesses have taken on and how some owners are beginning to worry about their ability to start repaying.
To close this Bulletin, news from Metro Bank on a new addition to their mobile banking app. The function will allow users who don’t wish to use an online accounting software package to create their own branded invoices.
Here also is the transcript of this edition of the Business Finance Bulletin
In this Bulletin, the Recovery Loan Scheme launches. Could it help you get back on the path to growth? Businesses, borrowed a record amount in 2020, but now it’s payback time. And Metro bank helps its clients manage cashflow better by launching a new invoicing tool. All of this in the latest Business Finance Bulletin
Recovery Loan Scheme Launches
Well, finally, the Recovery Loan Scheme has been launched. On the 6th of April lenders opened the doors to applications under this new Recovery Loan Scheme. This scheme of course, is a replacement for CBILs and Bounce Back Loans, which closed for applications on the 31st of March. So will this new scheme allow you to get back on the path to growth? Well, let’s take a look at what the scheme entails.
First of all, if you’re looking to borrow via an overdraft facility or a loan, the starting application amount is £25,001 up to a maximum amount of £10 million. If you’re looking for finance via asset finance or invoice finance, the starting amount is as low as £1,000. Again, up to a maximum of £10 million. How long can you borrow for? Well, for an overdraft or an invoice finance facility, you can have that over three years. For loans and asset finance, the maximum term is six years. So a good lengthy term in which to manage your monthly repayments.
So what can you use the money for?
Interestingly, the scheme says you could be eligible to apply if you’ve been impacted by COVID. Now it doesn’t say negatively impacted by COVID, so the implication is, of course, if you’re one of those businesses that has boomed in the pandemic, you’ve seen a surge in sales, you may need additional working capital, buy new machinery, or plant and equipment. That means you will be eligible under the scheme. So it’s a much more positive forward looking scheme other than like CBILs and Bounce Back Loans, which is very much about survival money. The new scheme is about growth money.
In terms of the interest rates, that’s still now being capped at 14.99%, including all of the fees that the lenders will be charging. So at least there is an upper cap, but lenders of course, will be free to set their own interest rates.
Now, in terms of repayments, unlike CBILS and Bounce Back Loans, you have to start paying from day one. In fact, your first payment wILL come one month after you’ve drawn down the loan. So you have no moratorium here and you were responsible for all of the costs on a day one. So a good scheme, and it only lasts until the 31st of December. You really need to be very focused and get your applications in.
At the moment as I record this, there are only 18 lenders who have been accredited by the British Business Bank. I know there are other lenders in the pipeline looking to apply, and this compares to over a hundred lenders across the CBILs and Bounce Back Loan scheme. There’s probably not going to be as much appetite amongst lenders to support this scheme, but still it would be a good variety of lenders for you to choose from.
If you want to know more about this scheme and how it can work for you, always happy to have a chat, just drop us an email info a business loan services dot co dot uk
Business Borrowing in 2020
On many occasions over the last 12 months, I’ve highlighted the fact that businesses have had an insatiable appetite to borrow money. It’s not surprising given what’s going on with businesses, just needing funds to keep going or to plug the cash flow gaps. Well, this demand for finance has been highlighted in a new report from UK Finance.
UK Finance is a trade body for all of the UK lenders and it’s reported in its latest Business Finance Review that in 2020 lenders said that they lent new money, new money out the door, totaling £63.6 billion; just under £64 billion of new finance arrangements. Now that’s a staggering figure on its own. However, compare that to the new loans they issued in 2019, a normal year. Well, the increase in 2020 was 162% on the previous year. Yes, a 162% jump in new financial arrangements. So it just shows the level of that the businesses have now taken on.
In fact, the report highlights that a quarter of business owners are now saying they are beginning to panic a little bit, because these repayments are obviously going to be starting now during April, May and June for the majority of businesses. So they realise now the level of that, that they’ve taken on, which has to be paid back.
Now, this new debt that’s been taken on, not only is it new money, but it’s also diverted it from other financial products as well. The Finance and Leasing Association, for example, have just released figures to the end of February, 2021, which shows a demand for asset finance, being leasing and HP volumes fell in the 12 months to February, 2021 by 24% compared to the previous year in February, 2020. So it just shows a combination of two things. The demand for asset finance generally has fallen because businesses just weren’t investing. But also there’s an element of the fact that they had CBILs and Bounce Back money. And so it didn’t need to access asset finance facilities.
So we can see there’s a lot of problems that are going to be facing businesses during this year, as I’ve mentioned in the previous segment, we’ve got the Recovery Loan Scheme, which may help plug further gaps, but of course, we’ve now got this huge lump of debt, which needs to be paid back.
Metro Bank Invoicing Tool
Over the last few years we’ve seen a rapid increase in the number of businesses that are using a large variety of online accounting software packages designed to make accounting that much easier. Well, not really. They’re very small businesses out there who perhaps don’t want to get tied into a monthly subscription, or really just don’t do large volumes to justify the cost of packages. Well, Metro bank has recognised that, and this and has now announced that it’s launching an invoicing tool to sit alongside their mobile banking app.
If you’ve got an account with Metro bank, and you don’t do large volumes, you can now create an invoice within your mobile banking app. You can create an invoice, assign it to a particular customer, assign it in terms of one of your particular products or services, and also even branded up with your logo. So you’re going to issue the invoice direct via the app.
The customer receives it. They pay you back into your Metro bank account, and then you can reconcile you invoice versus what you’ve had paid back in. It will allow you then to keep track of your cash flow and more importantly, chase those people who haven’t paid.
So it’s a great idea for Metro bank for those smaller businesses who don’t want the all singing, all dancing, accounting software packages. If you want to know more about that, you can find out more from the Metro bank website, which is www.metrobankonline.co.uk/business. A great, innovative idea from Metro bank.
Well, let’s it for another Bulletin.
I hope you enjoyed watching and listening to it. And if you did, please, don’t forget to give it a like, a share and subscribe to this channel. So thanks very much. Look forward to being with you again, next time.
According to the latest research from Barclays Bank, there has been a notable increase in the number of business scams. Opening the latest Business Finance Bulletin, we highlight five scams to watch out for.
Alongside the extension of other support measures, we look at the government announcement extending the period of a range of measures designed to protect those businesses in precarious financial position.
To close, a new report from Experian reveals that many people are not checking their credit files. We look at why this is important if you are thinking of applying for business finance.
We open this Business Finance Bulletin with a review of the latest business insolvency figures. The most recent figures released by the Insolvency Service reveal that insolvencies are still declining. It is acknowledged that the figures will eventually increase so what can you do to protect yourself from customers not paying?
The latest figures from the Finance and Leasing Association show that use of Asset Finance in January continue its downward trend. Will the new Super Deduction investment tax break encourage businesses to invest?
Wrapping up, a look at a finding in the recent SME Finance Monitor report which highlights that some business owners have big plans and are still happy to take risks to achieve growth.
Opening the latest Business Finance Bulletin, we review a report from the British Business Bank looking at the business borrowing market in 2020. Not surprisingly the report reveals that businesses took on an unprecedented level of debt.
With businesses going full out on CBILS and Bounce Back Loans the alternative finance sector, which was booming up until 2020, has taken a hit with falling demand. We look at news of one of the first casualties with Nat West’s announcement that ESME Loans is closing its doors.
To close, the roll out of Open Banking takes a step forward with news that 9 of the main High Street banks are to join forces to spearhead a joined-up approach to deliver a consistent offering.
We devote the whole of this week’s Business Finance Bulletin to the new Recovery Loan Scheme.
In his Budget last week, the Chancellor announce that CBILS and the Bounce Back Loan Scheme would not be renewed but instead would be replaced by the Recovery Loan Scheme.
We look at features of the new Scheme; the key differences between it and CBILS and the Bounce Back Loan; and the actions you should take now in terms of the 31st March deadline for the existing schemes and preparation for the Recovery Loan.
As the application deadline to apply for a Bounce Back or CBILS loan fast approaches, there is talk of a new government-backed loan being announced in this week’s Budget. Focusing more on recovery than survival we consider what the features of the loan could be.
Smaller, local businesses have been badly hit over the last 12 months. We look at a pilot scheme launched by Barclays Bank in four UK towns. The Rebuilding Thriving Local Business programme designed to equip small business owners with the skills to restore their businesses.
To close, a review of the latest Lloyds Bank monthly Business Barometer survey which reveals that business is slowly edging up to highs not seen for nearly a year.
What is the business borrowing environment going to look like post Bounce Back Loans and CBILS? Opening the latest Business Finance Bulletin, we look at why obtaining finance will be challenging once the government loan support schemes finish.
After two years in the making, seven of the major banks have launched the Business Banking Resolution Service. The service provides a path for small businesses who want an independent body to review complaints they have against their bank.
Wrapping up this edition, if you deferred your VAT payment due between March and June 2020, we look at HMRC’s announcement that it will be opening up applications to pay the amounts due over 11 months.
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Rob delivered a series of 3 workshops aimed at understanding how finance houses look at finance propositions with the aim for us as a team to deliver more of a bespoke offering to our customer base. The training was delivered to a mixture of staff who work with new businesses start-ups and existing established businesses across Mid & South West Wales. Rob delivered the training with an abundance of passion and has really helped my team look at financial propositions in a different light, many thanks again Rob and I look forward to work with you in the near future.
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