Since the introduction of COVID-19 support measures, ART has successfully delivered over £3million in loans following accreditation by British Business Bank under CBILS (Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme). And, thanks to substantial support from our bankers Unity Trust, we have been able to meet demand from both existing and new clients.
However, our usual target market was distorted with the introduction of the Bounce Back Loans Scheme (BBLS), where highly advantageous rates on loans of up to £50,000 were made mainly by the banks with a 100% Government guarantee. Our minimum loan under CBILS was £50,001.
Not all of our customers required loan support and we were able to be flexible and provide capital and repayment holidays during the most challenging periods last year. Our customer base is very well spread, sector wise, which has proved to be very important, while our wide network of introducers has been invaluable.
Some businesses have prospered in the pandemic while others have obviously struggled. A number of clients also took the opportunity to repay our loans from BBLS facilities, which was allowed.
As we move forward in 2021 we have received accreditation to provide the new Government-supported Recovery Loan Scheme. Initial demand for our level of loan requirement appears to be increasing as the major banks’ appetite has reduced. Our major challenge ahead therefore remains the pursuit of additional capital, as once again this scheme provides a guarantee but requires us to lend our own money.September 30, 2021 10:59 am