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The Future? Who knows! There is still a lot of uncertainty for businesses trying to plan for the future, with perhaps even more challenges ahead. It is no different for the provision of business funding either.

Access to finance specialist, Caroline Turley, briefly highlights what she considers business priorities should be over the next few months to make sure you have the funds to grow your business and keep on track with your business plans.

Business funding is as important as ever but funding options in place will soon disappear. Most businesses have been in some way negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and the schemes made available by the government are coming to an end, although there may still be time to get an application in, if appropriate for your business.

To make sure your business is on track, are you talking to your advisors enough? Have you reached out to see what the options are out there to fund your future plans?

Keeping an eye on funding deadlines

The government’s Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan (CBIL) that provides financial support to smaller businesses affected by coronavirus is due to close to new applications at the end of September, 2020. This is an important date for you and your business. If you have taken advantage of the Bounceback Loan scheme but feel your business requires additional funding due to the repercussions of the pandemic, then CBIL support could be an option for you. Loan funds are available from £50,001 up to £5 million, subject to meeting criteria.

If you haven’t taken advantage of the Bounceback Loan Scheme which enables smaller businesses to access finance more quickly during the coronavirus outbreak, you have until November 4, 2020, to submit your application. Loans are available from £2,000 up to £50,000, you are only allowed to draw down one Bouncback loan, which is subject to meeting its criteria.

So, if you have a Bounceback loan and need more support, the September closing date for CBIL may be something you need to consider.

Other business professional who can help

These dates and schemes are important for you to consider but please make sure you are talking to the funders and advisors who assist with your applications.

Banks, accountants, advisors, as well as the team at Boost are here to assist you sift through the funding and finance options available.

If you prefer to talk to an alternative provider regarding funding and finance schemes, other than your day-to-day bank, there are providers who can help. Boost & Co provides details of additional public and private sector organisations that can help businesses in Lancashire with their growth plans.

In Lancashire we are fortunate to also have the Rosebud Loan fund. Lancashire County Council has launched the £2.25m Rosebud Rebound Fund to allow for a more flexible approach to finance for businesses of all shapes and sizes across Lancashire to help them resume growth plans following the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Taking action now

What is important is make sure you are looking at how your business is funded, now and for the coming months and then further onwards into your next financial year. As we head towards the final quarter of 2020, how do you normally trade within this period, what is your cash position versus last year? Are sales picking up and do you have the cash to fund them?

Turn to your business advisers and financial specialists for support. We are here to help.

Caroline Turley is an access to finance specialist for Access to Finance Lancashire

Caroline Turley is an access to finance specialist for Access to Finance Lancashire (A2F), delivered by the Manchester Growth Company in association with Lancashire County Council.

A2F provides SMEs in Lancashire with bespoke funding support to help them source funding and finance that will unlock business growth. The A2F Team is a fully funded service provided via Boost and can assist you to navigate your business to the funding options available.

The team can provide you with an impartial view of the options and guide you through the process if necessary. Call Boost today on 0800 488 0057 for an introduction to our funding and finance specialists.

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