COVID-19 Member Update – Government Loans Scheme

Many members have been asking about how and when the loans announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer in his Budget and on Tuesday evening to help businesses deal with the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic can be accessed.

As is the case with other announcements by Government, much of the detail about the loan scheme is limited at this early stage and the banks themselves do not yet have all of the information.  What we do know is that it is anticipated that it will  be up and running in the week commencing 23 March and some more information is available from the British Business Bank at their website –

We have been in contact with the major banks in Northern Ireland.  They have all stressed the importance of customers keeping in close contact with their bank.  They have also pointed out to us that in preparation for talking to your bank about possibly availing of a Government supported loan, businesses should consider issues like preparing a cashflow impact analysis and consider how they think this situation will impact the business over 1 month, 3 month and 6 month periods.  Furthermore, the banks have highlighted that for some businesses other options like increasing overdraft facilities, repayment holidays, short term loans and covenant waivers may be better solutions.

As soon as we hear more detail about the Government’s loan scheme, we will update you.  Please feel free to contact us if Belfast Chamber can be of any assistance.