Coronavirus (COVID-19) Support for Businesses

£100 million response announced to help social sector organisations through the coronavirus crisis

BEF to receive new lending facilities to provide much-needed finance to charities and social enterprises, and small businesses in disadvantaged parts of the UK.

Big Society Capital today announced an ambitious £100 million programme of loans and investment to help get much-needed emergency funding to social enterprises, charities and small businesses in disadvantaged areas affected by the coronavirus pandemic. The measures complement the coronavirus grants programme for social sector organisations announced today by the Government.

These organisations are in the frontline of responding to the needs of the most vulnerable and deprived sectors of our community, and many are facing significant financial difficulties. Many are also not able to access other sources of government funding which have been made available in response to the crisis.

The new measures, announced today by leading social investors, will create routes for charities, social enterprises and some small businesses facing cash-flow problems and disruption to their trading to obtain urgent finance which they otherwise couldn’t access. Within weeks, affected organisations will be able to apply for emergency loans and investment without paying any fees or interest for 12 months.

The new measures include small, emergency loans which will be made available on a no fee, no interest for 12 months basis to small businesses and social enterprises in more deprived areas, by ensuring the Community Investment Enterprise Facility (CIEF), administered by Social Investment Scotland, can effectively access the CBIL Scheme. £29 million of Big Society Capital’s and other investors’ capital will be invested initially, while additional institutional investors are being approached to co-invest. The loans will be delivered through the BCRS Business Loans Limited, Business Enterprise Fund, Finance for Enterprise and First Enterprise.

Stephen Waud, CEO of BEF said: “We are committed to helping as many SMEs as we can with the resources and capital that we currently have, and will become available through this innovative new programme. While we will not be able to satisfy all the demand, the new capital will help us to support more SMEs who are the lifeblood of our economy. If you are a business who needs some money to get through initially the next 3 months, then please contact us and we will do what we can for you.”

For more information on the £100m programme, please visit the Big Society Capital website.

For more information on the Coronavirus Business Interruption Support (CBILS), please visit our CBILS loan page.

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