Shaw & Co launches service to help clients access the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS)

  • Posted

Shaw & Co has decided to put its ‘money where its mouth is’ and is offering clients – company owners and SMEs – a discount of up to 70% on its normal fees to help them evaluate their options and navigate them through their application for financial support from the Government’s Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS).

Shaw & Co has developed a dedicated CBILS Support Service with the knowledge that many business owners will not have the time, expertise or confidence to apply for support via CBILS. It has also already expressed some reservations that CBILS – which is modelled on the Enterprise Finance Guarantee (EFG) scheme – will be difficult to access without professional support and that it is not the ‘magic route to funds’ that the Government is promising to businesses.

Jim Shaw, founder and CEO of Shaw & Co, commented: “We are already seeing varying, and often limited, appetites from the 40+ accredited lenders under the CBIL Scheme to administer emergency funds to businesses. This is largely due to the current structure of the Government guarantees which still leave the lenders exposed. It is also clear that the application requirements will be onerous with lenders demanding financial forecasts and business plans at a time many SMEs don’t have the capacity to produce these intricate documents.

“As well as generally heightened anxiety among SMEs, business owners are also reticent in exposing their business vulnerabilities to their banks for fear of contaminating the overall relationship and other lending lines. The ghost of 2008 roams free.

“Because the Scheme only covers up to 80% of the bank’s exposure, Shaw & Co expects banks to seek Personal Guarantees (PGs) from business owners to support CBILS lending, especially for sums over £250,000. PGs are notoriously contentious, and Shaw & Co expects them to be a pivotal part of negotiations with lenders and may stop many borrowers accepting the loans leaving them to take their chances.

“As active practitioners in the SME funding space, we applaud the clear determination of this Government to “Do Whatever It Takes” in fighting the damage this crisis is inflicting on people’s health and our country’s businesses, jobs and prosperity, but we also believe details of the CBILS scheme need amending to speed deployment of funds and balance the risk fairly between, borrower, lender and Government.”

However, Shaw & Co recognises the profound strains SMEs and owner / managers are under during this crisis.

Shaw continued, ”My Partners and I have therefore taken the decision to help alleviate this unprecedented and potentially calamitous situation by offering clients the benefits of our years of experience and expertise, together with longstanding relationships with lenders – at a significantly discounted rate to our usual advisory fees, of up to 70%. We truly believe that we can get through these times together and that, as we have always said, we are here for our clients and want our relationships to remain close and very much for the longer-term.”

The CBILS support service is accessible via the Shaw & Co website.