A national helpline has been set up in West Yorkshire to help businesses survive the Coronavirus crisis.
Commercial Finance Consultancy ABL Business has set up the advice line to provide information on the Government’s CBILS (Coronavirus Business Interruption Loans Scheme) and also on what banks are doing to help businesses remain resilient.
The company’s joint Managing Director, Alex Beardsley, sits on the CBI’s Regional Council for Yorkshire and the Humber which means she is receiving real-time information from the epicentre. It was decided that they should use this information, not just to advise their own clients, but to support the wider business community through the crisis.
The number to call for COVID-19 Business Finance Advice is 0333 003 7685
Lines are open Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm.
Ms Beardsley said: “We know from the rise in the number of queries we have had and the discussions with our clients and their advisors, that it is not ‘Business as Usual’ for all.
“Those in service industries have the ability to work remotely and still function, but for manufacturing, engineering, logistics or hospitality businesses, to name but a few, employees being unable to come in to work or get out and about would, basically, put an end to the business.
“Following on from what has already been a difficult and uncertain start to the year, with Brexit and Storm Ciara, the effects of COVID-19 on the UK economy are yet to be seen in full but the constraints are already being felt by UK businesses”.
She said that some funders were openly pulling out of certain markets and suspending lending to these sectors and some lenders were pausing lending altogether. But following on from The Chancellor of the Exchequer announcing a budget that ring-fences £2bn for SMEs affected by the Coronavirus outbreak and banks outlining their individual facilities to help minimize the effects, the outlook is not all doom and gloom.
With the additional complexities companies are now facing, the team at Cleckheaton-based ABL Business feel it is critical to share their expertise with business owners themselves and also their business advisers, to ensure that they can navigate this uncertain time and come out of the other side intact.
Ms Beardsley added: “Because it is our job to understand the Commercial Finance Market and advise businesses accordingly, we will do so throughout this pandemic. We have opened the free national helpline for commercial finance questions in relation to Coronavirus and the impact on UK businesses.
“As a Commercial Finance Consultancy, we work closely with our clients to ensure that they get the right finance facilities that work for their business and this has never been more important than now. We are also here and available to speak to any advisors of businesses who find they are unable to keep up to date with all of the elements changing in the market place.
“Right now we have to help business owners, finance teams and their advisors get creative when it comes to ways to inject cash into the business and ride out the crisis period.
“Please don’t leave it too late to take advice. You can call here and we will be waiting to discuss with you your current situation and provide advice, support and potential signposting to ensure you get the business support you require”.
More information can also be found on https://www.abl-business.co.uk/lp/covid-19-finance-helpline
Listen to Alex speaking to Richard Stead on BBC Radio Leeds here
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