It goes without saying that the last 12 months have been extremely challenging for the UK business community. Despite the doom and gloom, one firm have been doing their bit to support businesses through the pandemic.
Approved Business Finance has over 40 years’ combined experience in the business finance industry. They are one of the fastest growing finance brokerages in the UK and since inception in April 2019, they have facilitated over £100m of business finance and helped nearly 1,000 clients.
Approved were a finalist in the Best New Business category at the Milton Keynes Business Achievement Awards in 2020 and despite 2020’s difficulties, have continued to grow. They now employ 25 people at their city centre office and have ambitious growth plans for 2021.
Director Greg Durkan explains more:
How has the pandemic affected MK businesses?
The pandemic has had far-reaching effects. SMEs and in particular the hospitality, retail and leisure sectors, have been hardest hit.
Many businesses have had to shut their doors completely, deal with vastly reduced revenue streams, furlough employees and/or manage the other uncertainties that lockdowns have brought.
The one thing that has endured, is the sense of community within the business sector. It is this unity that will help businesses to accelerate out of lockdown.
How have Approved been able to help?
Over the last 12 months Approved have helped by distributing over £80m in much-needed funding. Much of this has been through the government backed Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) which ended recently.
The mantra ‘cash is king’ has never been more applicable. Cash flow is the lifeblood of all business and access to affordable, flexible finance has helped to ease cash flow pressures for many of the businesses affected.
How is Approved different from traditional finance providers?
Unlike traditional high street banks, Approved have access to over 80 funding lines. With products including Asset Finance, Commercial Loans, Commercial Mortgages, Motor Finance and Invoice Finance, Approved are very well placed to aid their clients through the pandemic and the subsequent recovery period. This panel approach enables us to help anyone from new starts to well-established corporations.
Is there anything else readers should be aware of?
As well as the extension to the furlough scheme in the last Budget, the Restart Grant was extended. From April, non-essential retailers are able to claim up to £6,000 in grants, per premise, with hospitality and leisure businesses able to claim up to £18,000.
The Government is also introducing the Recovery Loan Scheme (RLS) until the end of 2021. This scheme replaces Bounce Back Loans and CBILS. Approved will be distributing the RLS and all sectors are eligible, which is very good news. With finance available from £25,000 to £10m, the hope is that companies will be able to take advantage of the beneficial terms on offer, to aid their recovery.
The final update to be aware of is the introduction from April of the super-deduction tax scheme. This provides a 130% first-year capital allowance for qualifying plant and machinery assets purchased by a business. The super-deduction will allow companies to cut their tax bill by up to 25p for every £1 they invest and is something we at Approved are able to support through our Asset Finance facilities.
How does Approved support the local community?
The pandemic has brought into focus more than ever the importance of protecting people’s mental health. With this in mind, Approved work closely with local charity the Northampton Saints Foundation.
With Approved’s support they have recently opened a new hub, located within Top Jump Milton Keynes. This provides a safe space for young people who find engaging with education challenging. Their work supports students with social, emotional and mental health needs, with an aim to increase confidence and boost self-esteem and facilitate a return to education.
We have seen first-hand the positive impact that the Engage programme has on its students and look forward to seeing the programme grow from strength to strength in Milton Keynes.
Finally, how do you see the next few months?
We are very positive about the months ahead. With lockdown easing, the success of the vaccination programme and a clear roadmap to opening back up, things are starting to look up. We are ready and able to assist local businesses throughout this period, as they recover.
To find out more on how Approved Business Finance can help your business contact 01908 429888 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also visit the website at www.approved-finance.co.uk