JustUs founder Lee Birkett said that he does not expect demand for his platform’s Small Business Interruption Loan Service (SBILS) to rise to higher levels until government support schemes come to a close.
The peer-to-peer lending platform launched SBILS to provide funding for businesses that missed out on finance under the coronavirus business interruption loan scheme (CBILS).
Prospective borrowers can download and apply for the scheme on the Moneybrain app, a sister brand of JustUs. They can then list their business and raise money through crowdfunding, which the company starts repaying a year later.
Birkett opened SBILS up for applications in September, expecting to see increased demand once government support schemes closed for applications at the end of that month. However, the government schemes were since extended until 30 November 2020 and then until 31 January 2021.
“We were expecting SBILS to come into its own when the government schemes were due to end, but now they are not closing until the end of January so we’re not expecting much demand until the second quarter of next year,” Birkett said.
“We’ve started seeing an increase in the number of applications again but we’re not really doing any marketing.
“We’re telling people to try and get their CBILS loans and bounce back loans and to come to SBILS when the schemes end and there’s no other choice.”