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What comes next? March's Complete Commercial Finance column

As we approach the end of the current tax year, things are changing in the area of business finance, writes Complete Commercial Finance’s Michael Moore (pictured)

The end of the current tax year is just ahead and the window for firms to finalise spending and ensure they manage their tax liabilities efficiently is closing. Following Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s Budget in early March, the new tax year also brings changes to the Government’s business support programme with the ending of the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) on 31 March.

Although we are in the closing days of applications, it is worth reminding that a CBIL offers the opportunity to borrow up to £5m without the need to provide security, and comes with a 12-month interest and payment-free holiday.

Michael Moore of Complete Commercial Finance (45472724)
Michael Moore of Complete Commercial Finance (45472724)

Funds can be confirmed in as little as 48 hours, so it is in many business’ interests to apply for the scheme as soon as possible.

In his budget, the Chancellor announced that CBILS will be replaced by the Recovery Loan Scheme (RLS) which runs until the end of 2021 and is structured more closely to a traditional loan. Targeted at businesses which can demonstrate growth, the RLS will require companies to meet the usual affordability requirements, which some businesses might find challenging following their performance over the past 12 months – perhaps an even greater incentive for those who haven’t already done so to make a last application for a CBILS before the scheme expires.

As restriction ease, many are predicting an economic rebound and while a boost in business will be welcome, particularly by those in the region’s leisure and tourism sector, rapid growth can present as many challenges as opportunities for cashflow. Time and again, we speak with clients who are struggling with cashflow, following a bumpy period of trading with peaks and troughs of activity.

There are a number of options available to improve cashflow, from invoice discounting which has evolved into a highly flexible product which can be tailored to a business’ individual requirements, to tax funding to manage the payment of future Corporation Tax, Self-Assessment Returns and VAT bills.

As with all aspects of business, it pays to think ahead and talk early on with a commercial finance specialist to create a realistic plan that works with your company’s performance, month to month. In the same way as you would use a professional to audit your accounts, working with someone who understands the wide spectrum of lending available, plus specialist funding for different sectors, can make all the difference to long-term success.

Contact Michael Moore at CCF on 01553 611619 or visit ccf.finance

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