AskIf reveals £4m in CBILS loans to SMEs one year from scheme launch
A year since the launch of the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS), and since the lender’s accreditation, Ask Inclusive Finance (AskIf) has revealed that it has lent close to £4m to small to medium enterprises (SMEs).
As part of AskIf’s goal to be an inclusive lender, 17% of the CBILS loans have been distributed to BAME-owned businesses, and 22% to female-led businesses.
AskIf was founded in 2016 by Samantha Bamert, and has worked with a variety of businesses from family-run food manufacturers, business consultancies, construction companies and nurseries on accessing CBILS.
Birmingham’s Moonstone Day Care received a £100,000 CBILS loan in November 2020.
Kerrie Ann-Wynter, director of Moonstone Daycare, said: “The number of children attending our nurseries dropped dramatically, so our income fell.
“We were very sure that we would gradually see children returning, but seeing our cash reserves shrinking was very stressful at times.
“We didn’t know whether we’d be able to cover our running costs every month as our outgoings remained high.
“The CBILS loan provided reassurance for us, our families, and our team that we could continue to trade until the number of children in our nurseries returned to normal.
“It would be devastating for the local community if we were to close, CBILS helped us avoid it.
“The closure of a nursery can have a serious knock-on effect and can prevent parents from being able to go to work.”
Samantha Bamert (pictured), founder and CEO of AskIf, said: “We are committed to supporting businesses from across all communities in the UK and monitoring our reach to identify areas where we can improve diversity amongst our borrowers.
“Having the opportunity to make such a difference over the last year with CBILS has been nothing short of humbling; we have been in the trenches with our borrowers.
“It is an experience our lending team will take long into their financial careers.”