Further £500,000 from WCC will power more support for small businesses
The funding secured through the CWRT has been a lifeline to our business."
Warwickshire County Council continues to lead the way with its support for small businesses through the pandemic after approving the loan of a further £500,000 to Coventry and Warwickshire Reinvestment Trust (CWRT).
The new funding will support CWRT's extension of the Government’s Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS)
The £500,000 follows an initial £1million loaned by the Council to CWRT last May to support the CBILS in Warwickshire. That was followed by support from four other local authorities and the Coventry & Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership. In November, the Council entered into a second loan agreement with CWRT for £1 million of CWLEP funding.
As a result, under the CBILS scheme so far, £2.7 million has been lent by CWRT to 25 businesses in Warwickshire, safeguarding 248 jobs with over 150 new jobs expected to be created.
Significant demand remains for the CBIL scheme and the further £500,000 loan from the Council will allow CWRT to support a further seven businesses in Warwickshire, safeguarding another 70 jobs.
CBILS loans are there to support otherwise viable small businesses who have been unable to secure sufficient (or any) finance from their bank or other mainstream lenders. The CRWT has long supported small businesses and individuals looking to start up, but the pressures caused by the pandemic caused a surged in demand from businesses having cash flow problems.
Demand would have far exceeded available lending capacity without additional financial backing, so Warwickshire County Council continues to take proactive and decisive action to support small businesses and safeguard jobs.
Among the businesses to have benefited from the CBILS funding is Stratford upon Avon-based Shakespuss & Co Ltd.
Melissa Mailer-Yates, owner of Shakespuss & Co Ltd, explains: “The pandemic has had a major impact on our book sales as many outlets were forced to close. In addition, we were on the verge of launching our concepts to broadcasters, film makers and other content providers, however, we have experienced significant delays in rolling this out due to a variety of issues caused by COVID.
“The funding secured through the CWRT has been a lifeline to our business. It has enabled us to meet our cash flow obligations, continue with our concept development and retain staff, not only internal staff, but we utilise the services of many freelance, local consultants and this funding has helped to safeguard their future too.”
Mark Ryder, Strategic Director for Communities at Warwickshire County Council, said: “Small businesses and the employment opportunities they offer locally are the lifeblood of our economy and we will do everything we can to support them through the pandemic.
"The loans provided by the CWRT will help small businesses stay solvent and enable them to remain part of the foundation for our economic recovery in the months and years ahead. We are very pleased to support the CRWT with further working capital so that it can provide financial assistance to as many businesses as possible.”
"This latest funding follows other significant WCC financial support measures for the local economy during the pandemic, including the Small Capital Grants scheme, Adapt & Diversify Grants scheme and our Survive, Sustain and Grow programme."
Sheridan Sulskis, Executive Director of the Coventry and Warwickshire Reinvestment Trust, said: “Warwickshire County Council, together with CWRT, has responded to the needs of small business owners in the local area quickly which has had a direct, positive impact for companies in the area.
“Many businesses are facing a bleak future through no fault of their own, but by making this funding available, our collaborative interventions during these unprecedented times, have facilitated the survival of local businesses, protected local jobs and created new employment opportunities within Warwickshire.
“Together we are helping to create an environment for individuals and businesses to better position themselves to generate opportunities and withstand the impact of economic shocks by becoming more economically resilient.”
Louise Bennett, Chief Executive of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “The support for businesses throughout the crisis has been crucial to their survival and we are delighted to see further money being made available in this way.
“There is light at the end of the tunnel for businesses because of the roll out of the vaccine but it’s still vitally important that the support continues to ensure as many viable businesses as possible can come through the crisis.”
Further details of the CBIL scheme are available at www.gov.uk/guidance/apply-for-the-coronavirus-business-interruption-loan-scheme. Or at www.cwrt.uk.com/cbils