In times as challenging as these, and with circumstances changing sometimes by the hour, we are extremely aware of the role we can play in helping all our valued customers and partners navigate the choppy waters we all find ourselves in. Fortunately, we are well placed to support you and, in many instances, as indeed many of you who have already been in touch have found, we can help. Here are some important updates for you and reminders of services that may benefit you right now.
Coronavirus Business Interruption Scheme (CBILS)
A number of our funders are partnering with British Business Bank to support this new government scheme and we can assist those of you looking to access the funds available. We have received complaints that some of the High Street banks are proving difficult to work with around CBILS and you may benefit from the agility that our panel can demonstrate. Details of the scheme can be found here but in summary, CBILS can provide facilities of up to £5M for SMEs (up to £45M turnover) across the UK for terms of up to six years with the government covering interest and any fees for the first 12 months.
Get in touch with your Bluestone account manager for more information on how we can help.
If you have used capital to purchase assets over the last few months, you may wish to consider your options in light of these changed circumstances. We can help you refinance the goods freeing up capital to help ease pressure on cash flow over the coming months.
We have seen a large spike over recent weeks particularly around technology financing in the wake of the mass movement to home working. Remember that, in addition to the actual equipment, we can assist you to finance associated costs and especially software licenses and renewals.
The good news is that almost all of our panel remain firmly open for business and are keen to support you and your business to get through the crisis. Naturally there will be more scrutiny across the board and a particular emphasis, when reviewing proposals, on how CV-19 is affecting your organisation but we continue to receive approvals every day for new facilities for our customers. Also, please note that most funders have moved to reduce the length of their credit acceptances from the usual 90/60 days down to 30 days.
As regards any existing facility you may have, it is important that you contact the funder directly in the event that you wish to request payment extensions or any other accommodation on your agreement. We can provide correct contact details if you need them, but our advice is to be prepared with updated business plans and cashflow forecasts in light of the current situation and be reasonable with your requests. Not every funder is able to support such requests but the better presented the case, the more chance you will have. Again, our team are on hand to assist should you need it.
We have successfully migrated 95% of our team to home working over the last few days although technically the office remains open too. You can use the existing landlines which are all being redirected to the right person. We are concentrating as much of our resources as possible on supporting existing clients and facilitating new clients who need to move quickly to secure vital funding to keep their businesses going. Please bear in mind that not all the financial services sector has been able to move quite so quickly and inevitably we may experience delays when we require input from the banks themselves so do bear with us.
It will be 25 years that we have been in business next year and our longevity has, in no small part, been down to the incredible dedication and commitment of our team and the support our valued partners and customers have shown us over the years. Some of you will remember going through the challenges faced post the financial recession in 2008 together and, just like then, you can guarantee that we will be here to support you every step of the way now.
Let’s get through this together and look to a brighter future for all on the other side.
Phillip, Vineesh, Steve and Mark
The Bluestone Board