A £25 million emergency fund, which will provide repayable finance to charities and social enterprises directly affected by the COVID-19 crisis launches today.
It will offer charities and social enterprises emergency loans without the requirement of personal guarantees and no fees or interest will be charged for 12 months.
This flexibility is possible because the fund provides access to the Government’s existing Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS). SIB will issue the loans, working initially with delivery partners Big Issue Invest, Charity Bank and Social and Sustainable Capital.
Over the coming months, Big Society Capital aims to reprioritise and repurpose up to a further £50 million to address the needs of charities and social enterprises and – either through the Recovery and Resilience Loan Fund or alternative vehicles.
SIB is also undertaking a series of other measures to help other social sector organisations where the Fund does not suit their needs including:
- Providing repayment freezes and flexibility directly to its existing customers
- Working with partners Access and Power to Change on their emergency responses
- Working as part of the Youth Endowment Fund on a responsive grant round, as well as supporting existing grantees
- Undertaking two new COVID-19 data projects to understand how support for organisations and communities can be most effective
- Convening social investors to share knowledge and work collectively
- Committing with other funders on how it will act at this time to support customers
Hazel Blears, Chair of Social Investment Business, said:
“We are all facing challenging and uncertain times. Charities, social enterprises and voluntary organisations are providing essential support to our most vulnerable communities. The Resilience and Recovery Loan Fund can help them weather the financial storm and continue their vital work.”
Ben Rick, Managing Director and Co-Founder of SASC also commented, saying:
“The Resilience and Recovery Loan Fund will deliver emergency funding to frontline organisations to support them in these extraordinary and challenging times. Since the pandemic began, we have seen how the charities and social enterprises that we work with across the UK have been adapting their services and supporting their vulnerable and disadvantaged clients. Like the NHS and social care staff, they are key workers and their significant contribution must be recognised. We believe this new fund will provide them with the financing they need at this time.”
The Fund should be open for applications from the middle of April, with the first loans expected to be made in early May.
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