PROSPER MAGAZINE: SPECIAL DIGITAL EDITION
MILESTONES IN LOCKDOWN...
How One Alternative Business Lender Surpassed CBILS Lending Milestone.
Black Country-based alternative business lender, and Chamber Platinum Group member, BCRS Business Loans, has surpassed a £3 million lending milestone supporting businesses affected by the Coronavirus pandemic.
Since the UK lockdown was announced on 23rd March, almost every business across the UK has been affected by Covid-19 in one form or another; whether they have been forced to postpone contracts or temporarily stop trading due to the lockdown.
The common denominator is that cash flow has been, and continues to be, a major concern for businesses. Schemes such as the Government's Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS), delivered by the British Business Bank through accredited local lenders such as BCRS Business Loans, offers support for small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) during this difficult time.
The team, headquartered in Wolverhampton, hit the ground running, and after rapidly implementing new lending processes, BCRS Business Loans went live with CBILS on the 7th April.
Just a month later, they had surpassed a lending milestone of £3.1 million. Crucially, supporting 49 businesses across the West Midlands and helping to safeguard the jobs of 539 people.
Prosper spoke to CEO, Stephen Deakin, to ask about the last few weeks, his first in the role of CEO, "Our team have worked tirelessly since going live with CBILS and the results are astonishing.
"To provide context on how quickly we have scaled up our operation in response to the pandemic as a small team of 17 people, our best month of lending before this consisted of 21 loans totalling £1.1 million, which we surpassed within 9 days of our CBILS scheme going live.
"Small businesses are at the heart of what we do. The whole team was set up to work from home within a day, and lending procedures were adapted to adhere to social distancing, so we can continue to meet demand and ensure no viable business is left unsupported.
"Businesses across our region are not only showing resilience, but they are also using their expertise and knowledge to create innovative solutions in the fight against this virus. It is great to see SMEs and entrepreneurs stepping up to the challenge and playing their part.
One such company to access funding support from CBILS was West Midlands based partitioning company Architectural Wallsz after being forced to cancel all work scheduled for April and May as non-essential construction sites closed due to Covid-19.
Managing Director, Ian Stangward, told Prosper, "Accessing a CBILS loan was essential in supporting the survival of our company during this incredibly difficult time and safeguarding seven jobs. Prior to this, we had experienced a bumper quarter and had built a strong order book.
"We specialise in the interior fit-out of commercial offices, education and healthcare sectors, offering supply and installation services across the UK."
"As a rapid response solution to the COVID-19 outbreak, Architectural Wallsz has developed isolation pods that meet NHS standards for infection control. We have the capability to supply and install 500 healthcare rooms in 30 days and are currently exploring ways of helping a number of NHS Trusts."
BCRS CEO Stephen Deakin concluded, "We are committed to supporting the funding needs of businesses right across the West Midlands that have been affected by the Coronavirus."