23rd March 2021 marks one year since the roll out of the CBILS initiative.
Over the last 12 months Ask Inclusive Finance Ltd has approved £4m in CBILS loans to deserving, credit-worthy businesses, helping them to survive and thrive through the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We are committed to supporting businesses from across all communities in the UK, monitoring our reach to identify areas where we can improve diversity amongst our borrowers.” says Askif founder and CEO, Samantha Bamert.
Delivering on its mission to be an inclusive lender, 17% of all CBILS loans were distributed to BAME owned businesses, with 22% to female-led businesses.
“Having the opportunity to make such a difference over the last year with CBILS has been nothing short of humbling.” Samantha continues. “We have been in the trenches with our borrowers. It is an experience our lending team will take long into their financial careers.”
Askif prides itself on being an approachable lender, speaking to businesses on a human level, working personally with borrowers to ensure fair, inclusive, sustainable lending.
£4m in Approved CBILS
Since being awarded CBILS lender status in 2020, Askif has worked with a variety of businesses in multiple sectors; from family-run food manufacturers and business consultancies to construction companies and even childcare providers.
One such organisation is Moonstone Daycare in Birmingham.
Moonstone Director Kerrie Ann-Wynter said of the funding: “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.”
The Askif Approach
The AskIf approach to lending considers the specific circumstances of each business using real-time data to ensure the recovery of the UK economy, and in doing so, reaching SMEs that other lenders are unable to support.
- Ask Inclusive Finance (AskIf) was created with an inclusive mission to lend to SMEs who were unable to secure funding from mainstream lenders
- Almost £4m of lending has been approved for credit worthy SMEs since the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loans (CBILS) scheme launched in March 2020
- 17% of all AskIf CBILS loans have been distributed to BAME-owned businesses, while 22% of all loans have gone to female-led businesses