Peer-to-peer platforms have vowed to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) who have been impacted by the coronavirus and require funding.
LendingCrowd is already funding one small business which made the tactical decision to switch its supply chain in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.
“It’s a very valid reason of switching stock provider that they needed the financing for,” a spokesperson for the platform said.
“I don’t think that’ll be uncommon amongst the other lenders I speak to.”
LendingCrowd has emailed all its borrowers to say it is there to help and to contact them if they have any issues from the virus such as problems in their supply chain, staff shortages, or trouble meeting their monthly repayments.
The emails also contained links to government guidance for small businesses and links to chartered accountants.
“Please reach out and speak to us, we’re here to help,” a spokesperson from LendingCrowd said.
“We would rather SMEs come forward and talk about this rather than bury their heads in the sand, that way we and other bodies can help.
“The overwhelming sentiment here is if any other borrowers want to speak to someone pick up the phone to us or drop an email.
“There’s a real thirst for proper guidance and information and advice out there for small business owners.
“The most important thing is to speak to us, speak to experts and people that can help and support them.
“There’s still a hunger for funding and a massive demand amongst small businesses at the moment. When an issue like this comes up, we and other lenders and platforms are here to provide that funding and to help.”
Meanwhile, Kristjan Koik, founder and chief executive of Ireland-based business lender Flender, said that although the Irish government has not announced any business interruption loan scheme, yet one may be soon, Flender has in the meantime been planning and putting measures in place.
This is to accommodate any difficulties its borrowers may face as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak.
“We have a range of procedures in place to assist borrowers that experience cash flow difficulties and our approach has always been to help businesses through their difficulties to complete their loans,” Koik said.
“All issues will be carefully assessed on a case-by-case basis and customers that can show that their business has been directly impacted by Covid-19 will be offered flexible and tailored solutions which may include cashflow top-ups, repayment reductions and brief moratoriums.
“Our goal is to assist our customers and provide the best possible solutions for what we are sure will be short-term difficulties.
“Flender remains open for business, our credit team will continue to assess new opportunities, and we will continue to provide funding for good Irish businesses.
“We are aware that many businesses are likely to experience short-term liquidity issues and we will take this into consideration when assessing new business opportunities.”
Yesterday (11 March), chancellor of the exchequer Rishi Sunak announced that the government is setting up a temporary coronavirus business interruption loan scheme for banks to offer loans of up to £1.2m to support SMEs.