If you can help a client, why wait to be asked?
By Kenneth Duffy -
Over the past year there have been many people, and companies, that have needed help in one way or another. Thankfully there have also been many opportunities, for those that can, to provide the help, advice and support that has been needed.
Help comes in many forms and, with so many businesses unable to trade as normal during the pandemic, financial security is something that our industry has stepped up to provide.
Of course, the government has given us the tools to offer help to many businesses large and small, from the Business Bounce Back Scheme (BBBS) to the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS).
Companies have been able to get the funding they need to keep their heads above water, until they get back to normal trading conditions.
We work very closely with our clients, building up relationships over years and as a result have many clients that come back to us project after project.
The crisis caused by the lockdowns in 2020 affected many different businesses we deal with, from housing developments to hotels and even car manufacturers.
When we were accredited by the British Business Bank to provide CBILS loans we had an opportunity to help many new borrowers, but also to approach existing clients to ask if they needed help.
Amongst the worst industries impacted by the pandemic was the hospitality sector. One client, Drenagh Country Estate in Northern Ireland, a specialist wedding and conference venue, faced a year with little income due to the postponement, and cancellation, of its events.
We had worked with Drenagh’s owners for over two years so the team reached out to offer support. After assessing the postponed and future bookings it was clear that the CBILS was an ideal solution, and not something our client had considered.
Without the proactive approach, it is possible that our client would have continued to struggle through, putting his business in jeopardy over the long term.
CBILS loan costs are covered for the first year and interest rates are kept low, which gives businesses a chance to get back on their feet. The CBILS loan therefore provides time to rebuild before refinancing or paying off the loan.
Through CBILS we have supported many businesses across the UK with over £500 million in loan requests already and more expected before the 31st March deadline.
However, there is still time and for any brokers who have clients that may be in a similar position the questions to ask are; Who is helping them? Have they asked for help? Do they need my help? It may be that they don’t, but as the old saying goes ‘If you don’t ask…’