What are the options for SMEs and the coronavirus?

Coronavirus which at the time of writing has affected more than 273 people in the UK, is currently a major concern for SMEs. With the markets suffering from their worst performance in more than a decade, plummeting to levels not seen since 2008s global financial crisis – what does this mean for our SME owners? According to the Tide survey (carried out by Yougov), more than half the people questioned were concerned their business income will fall over the next quarter, while 57 per cent are unlikely to be able to invest in growing their business in the coming months.

A report by SME finance lender, Rangewell, identified key trends in the report which included a more cautious outlook among valuers, credit providers and lenders. Deals are being re-examined, taking longer or being turned down. So, in light of this uncertainty, what are the options for an SME who needs finance to help them through this financial crisis?

Today sees the Chancellor unveil his much anticipated budget. Calls have been made to ensure this budget supports SMEs by providing a robust plan to help businesses affected by the impact of the coronavirus, including assistance with cash flow.

If the budget doesn’t address the issues for SMEs, what other options are there? UK banks including Barclays, Santander UK and RBS are rolling out emergency loans to businesses that are showing signs of financial strain. Businesses considered to be at risk have been contacted and offered overdrafts and short-term loans as well as advice from relationship managers.

NatWest has pledged £5bn working capital support for SME’s during the coronarvirus outbreak across sectors where there is the greatest disruption and need. The £5bn funding includes temporary loans with no fees as well as support and consultancy advice where needed.

With access to a number of funders, Metis Funding can assist businesses to benefit from the most suitable funding available.

Published: March 11