Coronavirus: NFU highlights importance of Chancellor's SME loan scheme decision

An image of Minette Batters, NFU President, pictured at NFU HQ, Stoneleigh, November 2019

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.

Click here for more information on government support for businesses affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.

Click here to use the NFU's COVID-19 business impact service

By using this form, farmers and growers can provide information on any business-critical issues they have encountered, or expect to encounter, arising from the COVID-19 outbreak. The NFU will log this information and use it in an anonymised format to flag the key issues agriculture and horticulture are facing to government on a daily basis. However, no personal data will be shared with the government. The service is for all farmers and growers across the UK.

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:

Coronavirus: Updates and advice

This news hub on NFUonline will be updated regularly to keep you up to date with what you need to know and how to deal with the various issues raised by coronavirus. Visit the hub.

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