Funding Circle urges SMEs to apply for government loan programs before they end
Small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) borrowers have been urged to apply for government-backed emergency loan programs through Funding Circle, before the programs end.
The peer-to-peer lending platform, which has received accreditation for both the coronavirus business interruption loan program (CBILS) and the rebound loan program (BBLS), called on SMEs to act now to secure funding through the programs before they end.
Applications for CBILS, which provides 80% government guaranteed loans up to £ 250,000, are due to end by September 30, although the British Business Bank has extended the deadline for lenders to review and process applications received on that date, November 30.
Meanwhile, the deadline for applications for the 100% government-backed BBLS, which provides loans up to £ 50,000, is set for November 4.
The government has yet to plan to expand any of these programs.
Additionally, apps seem to be slowing down.
According to Treasury figures as of May 10, in the first week of BBLS, 268,173 companies received funds through the program while on April 2 – one week after the launch of CBILS – 1,250 loans were approved in the framework of the program.
In contrast, during the first week of August, 20,000 SMEs were supported by BBLS and only 600 companies received loans from CBILS.
Read more: What’s going on at Funding Circle?
“If you still haven’t taken advantage of the program, but think the funding could help you now or in the future, it’s worth considering taking out a CBILS loan,” Funding Circle said in a blog on its website.
“The CBIL program was designed to help businesses weather the pandemic, which means it has better features than most normal loans.
“For example, the government pays the interest for the first 12 months of the loan, in addition to paying the upfront fees, which means that if you can pay off the loan in full in a year, it won’t cost you a dime.
“However, if you want to borrow less than £ 50,001, take a look at BBLS. If you’ve already taken out a rebound loan and want to borrow more with a CBILS loan, you can still apply.
“If you are successful then, you will have to pay off your existing BBLS loan. This is because you cannot hold both loans at the same time.
“You will need to make sure you request enough funds to cover the cost of paying off your rebound loan, in addition to any additional funds you wish to request through CBILS.”
Earlier this month, Starling Bank revealed that by the end of July, it had loaned £ 227.75million to small businesses via Funding Circle, as part of an agreement to finance £ 300 million in CBILS loans via the P2P lending platform.