NI Chamber President comments on Chancellor’s boost for Coronavirus business support schemes

2nd Apr 2020

Welcoming the Chancellor’s announcement on further measures to boost financial support for businesses affected by Coronavirus, NI Chamber President Ian Henry said:

“We are pleased that the Chancellor is listening and responding to the concerns of businesses who are urgently trying to access financial support.

“Firms may be able to avail of rates relief and the Job Retention Scheme but they can’t survive without income. Therefore his extension of the CBILS so that all viable small businesses affected by COVID-19, and not just those unable to secure regular commercial financing, will now be eligible should they need finance to keep operating during this difficult time is important. Also the removal of personal guarantees for all commercial loans below £250K and making operational changes to speed up lending approvals is also very welcome.

“In terms of new support, the introduction of the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS) will also ensure that firms with a turnover in excess of £45m are able to benefit from government-backed support, and closes a significant gap in the existing package that was available.

“It is now critical that banks act quickly to help businesses avail of this support and see the COVID-19 crisis through. Providing guidance and assistance to businesses without relationship managers is also vitally important.”