In 2021 it is imperative that we all get the message out that we are here to help – by Nick Smith

It’s a New Year and, while we might be in Lockdown Three, there is renewed optimism as we reach the end of the first month of 2021. Vaccinations against the virus are underway and we have almost broken the back of winter.

We may be looking towards ‘sunnier times’ but we are not through the woods yet, and it is imperative that we continue to support SMEs as they ‘come through the other side’, so they not only survive but grow and prosper.

These are anxious times for many business owners, especially with the knowledge that they will soon have to face deferred financial obligations. As well as handling all the stress this and the day-to-day running of the business brings, some are also having to cope with the difficulties of home schooling.

These factors could have a major effect on their mental wellbeing, especially if they are working in isolation away from the support of their colleagues in the office.

That is why we will be working closely with fellow members of NACFB and FIBA, and others in our network, to really push out the message that we are all available to discuss any funding issues SMEs may have.

We need to impress upon them that if their banks are unwilling to support them financially, there are other options available.

Throughout 2020, we provided finance to a record number of companies to help them get through unprecedented times. We also funded those who were repurposing their businesses to manufacture products to help fight the pandemic and protect people from it.

Those of you who have worked with us know how flexible we are; exploring every possible funding option and looking at every asset the business can borrow against, both company and personal, combining a whole basket of them if necessary. We also deliver the funds quickly when they are most needed.

Therefore, our message is very clear – we are open for business and keen to lend.

It heartened us to see the difference we made to SMEs in the last 12 months with this approach, and it has made us keener than ever to help even more this year. We therefore have several very exciting developments to help us achieve that goal, which we look forward to sharing with you soon.

In the meantime, let’s work together to get the message out to SME’s – the lifeblood of the UK economy – that we are all here to help.