Folk2Folk facilitated more than £17.3m in loans to small– and medium-sized enterprises during March, April and May while the country was under a Covid-19 induced lockdown.
During this period, the total value of loans increased month-on-month with the largest single loan being for £4.05m. The majority of these loans have been used for business growth, property development or farms seeking refinancing or diversification.
“Economic stagnancy is not healthy and so throughout the pandemic we’ve continued to lend to businesses,” said Roy Warren (pictured), managing director of Folk2Folk.
“Small businesses are the lifeblood of our economy and we’ve felt it important to keep the economy moving by helping to facilitate the flow and circulation of finance.
“Now with lockdown conditions easing we’re ready to help those businesses wanting to invest in their re-emergence. For some everything will have changed, and they may need to invest in new ways of operating, consider a new direction or diversify.
“Some of our customers pivoted their business during lockdown and have since discovered benefits beyond survival. Being forced to consider new ways of working or diversification has resulted in new strings to their business bow and in some instances a wider customer base.”
The peer-to-peer lending company for local and rural businesses funded all of these loans through its retail investors.
Folk2Folk said in a blog the country’s recovery isn’t solely down to the government, but that the decisions people and businesses make plays a part in the speed at which national and local economies recover.
The platform said that a shift in lender mindest to investing with the purpose of helping others, as well as for profit, could make a dramatic difference in how quickly the UK bounces back from the pandemic.
“If you’re an experienced investor with money to invest, and could help local businesses succeed after this national crisis while you earn a monthly income of 6.5 per cent p.a. secured against land or property, why wouldn’t you?” said Warren.
Last month Folk2Folk announced during the 2019 financial year its investors received record interest payments.