A West Midlands based alternative lender has announced a 47 per cent increase in lending during the Coronavirus crisis.
BCRS Business Loans, which supports small businesses that are unable to access finance from traditional lenders, delivered a record £13.3 million of funding between April 2020 and March 2021.
The not-for-profit lender pledged to support businesses that were being impacted by the pandemic and was accredited by the British Business Bank to deliver the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) while it operated.
End of financial year results confirmed that 130 small businesses across the West Midlands were supported by BCRS during the period, which protected 1,680 jobs that may otherwise have been lost and supported the creation of 263 new jobs.
Stephen Deakin, Chief Executive of BCRS Business Loans, said:
“Despite what has been an incredibly challenging year for everyone, we are pleased that our commitment to supporting small businesses in their time of need has shone through with a record year of lending.
“Most of the 130 businesses supported in the past year simply needed a cash flow boost to survive after turnover slumped due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
“We understand that small businesses are a force for social good in the communities they serve and are vital to the prosperity of our economy. In fact, SMEs account for 99.9% of the UK’s business population and 60% of total employment.
“This is why it was paramount we delivered the funding SMEs needed to survive and grow. Our lending in this period added an additional £71 million of value into the West Midlands economy and we have already shifted our focus to supporting business recovery as the economy begins to uncoil.
“I am incredibly thankful and proud of the small but mighty team at BCRS for working around the clock to support as many businesses as we possibly could in such challenging circumstances, when we were all adapting to working from home and rapidly implementing new technology to deliver our updated Covid-safe virtual loan process.
“I would also like to thank our partners. Without the support of the British Business Bank, Midlands Engine Investment Fund, the Community Investment Enterprise Facility (CIEF), Big Society Capital, Triodos Bank UK, Unity Trust Bank, The Co-operative Bank and Social Investment Scotland, this milestone wouldn’t have been possible.”
BCRS Business Loans offers loans from £10,000 to £150,000 to help West Midlands based SMEs grow and recover following the pandemic.