Construction industry access to Covid-19 emergency loan and finance schemes

This paper was prepared for the Construction Leadership Council (CLC). It sets out recommendations for improving construction industry access to the Government’s Covid-19 emergency loan schemes. It was submitted to the CLC on 20 April 2020.

  • Updated: 30 April 2020
  • Author: Ben Goodwin, Lead Policy Manager

The paper examined how accessible the Government’s Covid-19 emergency loan and finance schemes had been for the construction industry. Specifically:

  • Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS)
  • Covid-19 Corporate Financing Facility (CCFF)
  • Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS)

To improve accessibility it recommended:

  • Government should commit to underwrite 100% of the value of loans to businesses most in need of accessing them (predominantly those small businesses attempting to access CBILS)
  • That a rolling lending facility (specifically for the CLBILS scheme) should be introduced to enable larger businesses to draw funds throughout the anticipated period of economic recovery
  • The introduction of flexibility to the length of payback periods, alongside clarification on interest rates and early repayment charges
  • Led by the banks, the simplification and standardisation of application processes to mitigate the reported confusion being experienced by applicants
  • The introduction of prioritisation criteria to ensure that the most urgent applications are fast-tracked

*It should be noted that since the paper was submitted to the CLC the Government have made alterations to the emergency loan schemes. These include a commitment to underwrite 100% of CBILS loans up to the value of £50,000 and to assess the viability of a business for a loan on its health prior to the Covid-19 outbreak.

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