Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s announcement that the government will overhaul the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) will come as a huge relief to many farmers who have struggled to access its much-needed financial support.
The scheme aims to help smaller businesses cope with disrupted cash flow amid the COVID-19 outbreak, but there have been challenges accessing the scheme. The changes announced yesterday (2 April) enable banks to offer CBILS to all viable small businesses affected by the coronavirus, and not just those unable to secure regular commercial financing, enabling many farm businesses which were previously ineligible to access CBILS funds.
NFU President Minette Batters said:
“The coronavirus outbreak has had huge implications for the food and farming sector, and at a time when the public are relying on farmers more than ever to provide them with quality, affordable home-grown food.
“The NFU has been in constant discussion with the Treasury and financial services to address the issues farmers have been experiencing with the scheme, and it has been an industry-wide effort to help amend the system to make it easier for farmers to access the financial support they critically need.
“These changes will help ensure that farmers and growers across Britain can focus on producing the food needed to keep the nation fed and healthy during this crisis.”
Please also stay up to date with government advice on COVID-19:
- Click here to go to the coronavirus information hub at the Gov.uk website
- Click here to go to the government's Business Support website