In these unprecedented times, Axiom Stone Solicitors will, in common with other businesses, be following the Government's official advice on social distancing and social isolating.

Public health measures must have the highest priority and, as a result, some staff will be working from home. Also, our offices will be closed to visitors.

However, we wish to reassure existing and potential clients that we will continue to provide the highest levels of service.

Please be assured we have a robust business continuity plan in place that is designed to minimise the impact on our service to you.

In addition, please continue to contact us electronically or by phone in relation to the progress of your matters or on any issues of concern to you.

We will update this information regularly on our website (Please see COVID-19 Updates Here) and via social media.

Finally, we urge everybody to follow the official advice on fighting the virus outbreak so enabling you to stay safe and well.

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Coronavirus Financial Assistance

The government will allow a £10,000.00 cash grant to our smallest businesses delivered by local authorities. Small businesses that pay little or no business rates and are eligible for small business rate relief (SBBR) will be contacted by their local authority directly and need not apply.

A £25,000.00 grant will also be provided to retail, hospitality and leisure businesses operating from small premises with a rateable value between £15,000.00 and £51,000.00.

The government is also introducing a business rates holiday for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses for the 2020/2021 tax year.

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (‘CBILS’)

The British Business Bank has produced the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme which allows businesses to apply for loans of up to £5,000,000.00 which will cover up to 80% of losses with no fees, as a result of the spread and impact of COVID-19.

The first 6 months of this finance will be provided interest free.

A number of private lenders are also making funds available to small businesses impacted by COVID-10, including:-

  • Lloyds Banking Group – £2,000,000,000.00
  • NatWest – £5,000,000,000.00
  • Barclays – £7,000,000,000.00

How Does CBILS Work?

CBILS will be made available from the week commencing 23 March 2020.

The scheme provides the Lender with a government –backed guarantee against the outstanding facility balance, therefore helping a ‘no’ credit decision from a lender to become a ‘yes’.

Whilst the government will pay all interest on the loan for the first 6 months, the borrower will always remain liable for the capital repayment.

CBILS supports a range of business finance products, including:-

  • Term facilities
  • Overdrafts
  • Invoice finance facilities
  • Asset finance facilities

Eligibility

To be eligible you must:-

  • Be UK based with a turnover of less than £41,000,000.00 per annum;
  • Operate within an eligible industrial sector;
  • Confirm that you have not received de minimis state aid beyond £200,000.00 over the current and previous fiscal year;
  • Have a sound borrowing proposal, but insufficient security to meet the lender’s requirements.

Further criteria will be published shortly.

Finance terms are for 3 months to 10 years for term loans and asset finance, and up to 3 years for invoice finance.

For Borrowers seeking to apply, they must contact participating lenders. There are currently more than 40 and these can be found on https://www.british-business-bank.co.uk/ourpartners/coronavirus-business-interruption-loan-scheme-cbils/accredited-lenders/.

For Lenders seeking to participate in the CBILS programme, they must express an interest via the form on https://www.british-business-bank.co.uk/ourpartners/coronavirus-business-interruption-loan-scheme-cbils/our-partners/.

A COVID-19 Corporate Finance Facility is also being proposed by the Government to aid larger companies but further guidance on this is yet to be published.