Advice on funding for companies hit by the Coronavirus pandemic

With pic: Tom Wilkinson, MD Beta Commercial Finance Ltd

Business lockdown has led to a busy time for business finance expert Tom Wilkinson.

Tom, Director of Alton-based Beta Commercial Finance and a former business banker has been advising companies across the UK on how to access the Government Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme and advising on other financial options to keep companies afloat during the pandemic.

“It has been incredibly busy as many companies are fighting hard for survival right now, “ said Tom. “We certainly have no desire to benefit from the crisis and a lot of our work so far has been informal advice, However, our team are all experienced in the business banking arena and it means we can assess eligibility for the schemes outlined by the Chancellor and look at the whole of the market to support business.

“As a former business banker, it is disheartening to me that the banks have so far been seen to be slow to act. The Banks are trying their best, but because they have been overloaded with a new process and a record number of applications it is putting a huge amount of pressure on them. This is where we can assist our clients and cut through the log jam to help.”

Beta Commercial Finance has been supporting companies by speaking to businesses about the impact of the pandemic, advising on the options and benefits available, and assisting existing clients with repayment holidays where they have current finance agreements.

Tom added: “The ground rules have changed repeatedly in the last fortnight, with Chancellor Sunak regularly responding to the situation on the ground as the shutdown of many companies began to bite. One area particularly hard hit has been the entertainment and hospitality sector and, of course, retail.

“We have been able to take forward applications for the CBILS scheme having assessed eligibility for our clients. It is important that companies check the criteria thoroughly and cover off all the information required at the outset to ensure the application can be processes as quickly and efficiently as possible.

“Companies should also bear in mind that there are still traditional lending options available, just in the last week we have arranged for a loan to pub and restaurant business which is currently closed, supported a business with a capital raise from some existing investment properties and assisted a client agree the funding for a new commercial property purchase. There are some lenders that have temporarily stopped lending but many others are still open for business.”

Beta Commercial Finance was founded by Tom in July 2016 and is based at the Old Chapel, Alton. It has worked on deals to provide new or bigger premises and to finance business machinery for companies as diverse as an accountants, a dress designer, a printer, a day nursery and a travel agent.


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