Folk2Folk, a unique peer to peer lending firm that focuses on rural businesses, has been approved by the British Business Bank as a lender under the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) and will soon be open for CBILS applications, according to a company release.
CBILS is a COVID-19 support program aiding firm impacted by the health crisis. Lenders may provide up to £5 million in credit to impacted smaller firms across the UK.
Folk2Folk states that initially it will only accept applications from existing clients but the lender intends on expanding the program in the near future.
To date, Folk2Folk reports that it has facilitated £360 million in business loans, with approximately £22 million being lent during the pandemic – since 1st March.
Louis Mathers, Folk2Folk co-founder and Director, commented on the news:
“As the originator of The Local Lending Movement, FOLK2FOLK’s purpose has always been to support Britain’s local and rural businesses. Throughout the pandemic we have continued to lend to businesses and play a vital role in helping to keep the economy moving. Our approval for accreditation by the British Business Bank is the next step, broadening out what we can offer businesses and placing FOLK2FOLK on the financial frontline of support for SMEs. We will soon be in a position to receive applications and look to quickly help businesses by initially focusing on our existing borrowers. After that, we intend to be able to accept CBILS applications from new borrowers but will announce that in due course.”
Mathers said that as the lock-down eases their accreditation is well timed to help companies in need of finance to invest in new ways of operating or diversifying:
“We will make further announcements about making CBILS available to new borrowers in due course,” Mathers added.