What does commercial finance look like in 2021?
It’s fair to say 2020 was a year that most businesses would rather put behind them. The difficulties caused by the pandemic were unprecedented, and commercial finance, and particularly cash flow finance, was dominated by the CBILS and BBLS in an attempt to give necessary support to otherwise healthy businesses. And whilst not always easy to get your hands on, it has almost certainly done its job to a large extent.
So, what can we expect in 2021? There will certainly continue to be challenges; lending restrictions and valuation issues are expected to continue for example, as well as potential tax changes in the budget and the expected fallout later in the year when CBILS and BBLS loans need to start being repaid.
However, there will also undoubtedly be opportunities and we are now starting to see these. Gardening, Home Office, Tech and tech support sectors for example are performing very well, and we are seeing a boom in small, “local” businesses utilising e-commerce and social media platforms to grow great cottage industries.
The key to both surviving and thriving this year will come down to preparation, as always. Cash flow lenders are coming back to the market with products and solutions outside of just CBILS, property lenders are re-introducing LTV’s from pre-COVID days, grant-writers cannot write grants quick enough for new and growing business; all positives when it comes to business recovery and growth.
The key to accessing these products, more than ever before, is preparation. Knowing your business inside out, having accurate cash flow forecasts and a business plan, and engaging your professional partners early are really important. We work with all lenders in the market, and where we see consistent success is where a business discusses their plans with us early.
As a business we are feeling really positive about 2021. Yes, there will be challenges. We know that. But we have never been better prepared to help businesses navigate these difficulties and get the right support to really thrive this year. And lenders are lending! So, get prepared, get talking to your professional partners and finance experts, and make 2021 a great year!