COVID-19 Update & Newsletter
Hi all, we hope you’re well and safe during these uncertain times.
We’ve been reflecting on our last newsletter before Christmas, in which we wrote a buoyant message about 2020 being prosperous for us all…..and here we are! There was a lot to look forward to, having felt like most of the recent challenges faced had settled down and the country was focussed on pushing forwards.
Nevertheless, we’ve all faced obstacles large and small in our working lives and this is no different. Our business started at the height of the recession over 10 years ago and we’ve navigated ourselves successfully to this point. Whilst the COVID-19 pandemic is unprecedented, we will ALL battle through and have stronger businesses on the other side.
Since the start of the crisis in March we have been working very closely with our clients to secure and mitigate the level of risk where we can. We would like to share some of the measures put in place and also some examples of how we have worked with our clients in these unprecedented times.
- Payment Holidays
At the beginning COVID-19 we were immediately proactive with our customers and worked closely with them to put in place cash flow support measures, enabling them to continue to trade. All our funders were offering 3 month payment ‘Holidays’ and we worked tirelessly to put these in place quickly and efficiently. As you appreciate this was a huge task which involved a significant amount of administration but we are pleased to say that all our clients who requested payment holidays have been provided with them.
- CBILS – Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme
When the CBILS scheme was launched we were proud that a selection of our funding panel stepped up to the mark and offered these loans. As you will appreciate there was certain criteria which needed to be satisfied but again we worked with our existing clients on securing these loans quickly and efficiently, in some cases quicker than their own Banks.
The CBILS loans can take the form of Invoice Finance, Commercial Loan and Asset Finance and they are a vital solution to enable many businesses to trade through these challenging times.
- Asset Finance
Understandably, many businesses who were planning to purchase additional assets over the last few months have put their plans on hold while the COVID-19 crisis continues. There are however many businesses who need to continue to invest in assets such as plant, machinery, vehicles etc in order to continue to move forward – for example keeping up with production, transport, infrastructure and all other areas essential to their operations.
We will continue to be ‘open as usual,’ therefore please do not hesitate to get in touch if you are looking to purchase any new or used assets.
- Asset Refinance
As mentioned above we are aware that many SME’s are not looking to purchase any new or used equipment in the short term. However, they may be looking to free up cash and equity from their existing assets.
As a reminder we can consider refinance of all tangible assets. As with the CBILS scheme you could benefit from interest free payments for the first 12 months and the refinance facility would ‘inject’ substantial working capital into your business while you trade through the crisis.
The types of assets eligible to be refinanced are endless but could include:
- Equipment – Plant and Machinery of every type, size and age.
- Vehicles – New and used Cars, Commercial Vehicles, high performance cars, trucks and trailers
- Haulage – HGV’s and heavy haulage equipment
- Agriculture – all types of equipment
Please talk to us if you wish to discuss any refinance, we could potentially carry out a no cost ‘desk top’ valuation on the assets, allowing you to make an informed decision.
- Balloon Refinance
Over the years we have financed hundreds of cars of every type and value and on many occasions they have been financed with a final balloon / residual payment / bullet payment at the end of the agreement. During these challenging times it’s important we continue to prioritise our customers’ needs and help them maintain cash flow where they can. Many of our funders are now looking to agree for customers to refinance their balloon payment for cars as they fall due, subject to underwriting. This will allow our customers to retain the use of the asset for a longer period and hopefully plan their future cash flow in advance.
- Deal Summary
Urgent funding secured for Key Worker transport…
Our client, an established specialised transport business, offered their services for key worker transportation. They approached the NHS and Care Homes and were asked to run a number of routes for the foreseeable future but this did mean they would need to invest in additional vehicles. The fleet they have currently consists of 12 and 17 seat vehicles and these as well as the planned new vehicles are being used with one passenger on board and the driver. The essential distancing being observed as the driver is over two metres away.
After finding three additional passenger transport vehicles we quickly put in place a very competitive and flexible funding structure. It was essential the deposit was minimal given the nature of the low income work being provided. We secured this, as well as deferred VAT which again supported cash flow as it can be claimed prior to being paid. We are very proud to have worked with this client who offered their services to key workers at this terrible time.
IT Infrastructure upgrade essential for employees to work from home…
At the start of Lockdown we worked quickly with an existing client of ours in securing IT hardware funding which was essential to enable all employees to work from home. Without this robust infrastructure upgrade it was highly unlikely the IT systems would be able to support the number of employees working remotely, essential in securing the safety of staff and the future of the business.
We worked swiftly with the client in securing a funding structure, which reflected cash flow during this uncertain time. Within a day the funding was secured and processed and the new servers, IT were rolled out to all employees who could continue with the knowledge their systems were robust and future proofed.
Essential funding provided urgently to support NHS contracts…
We were approached by an existing client who operates in the hire industry, with a diverse fleet of transport. Due to the variety of vehicles at their disposal they were assigned to support the NHS infrastructure, assisting with movement between hospitals and transporting urgent food supplies to various locations, due to the overwhelming pressure on the system.
We were pleased to support them with funding for 4 additional vehicles, which were integral to the operation. We worked quickly with the suppliers to ensure payment was immediate and to get the vehicles on the road as quickly as possible.
As always, we appreciate your continued support and please get in touch if you have any questions – or just to have a catch up chat! We are certainly looking ahead to the time when we can safely meet up again.
We hope you and your families stay safe and well.