X-Forces Enterprise (XFE) and AskIf have launched a new partnership to enable beneficiaries, within the Armed Forces Community, to access much needed funding at a time of great uncertainty. The multi-billion pound funding gap for credit worthy micro businesses excluded by mainstream lenders and algorithmic decision making is likely to grow in the current economic climate, which means this partnership is launching at a critical time for SMEs within the Armed Forces Community.
AskIf, as a newly accredited lender under the Government backed Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS), has partnered with not-for-profit community interest companies; X-Forces Enterprise (XFE) and X-Emergency Services (XES) to provide financial support to smaller businesses across the UK, which are owned by members of the military or emergency services communities.
Those businesses that are losing revenue and/or seeing their cashflow disrupted, as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, can apply for a loan to bridge the gap in their own finances and have the arrangement fees and the first 12 months interest paid for them by the Government. CBILS forms part of a wider package of Government support for UK businesses and employees. Information on the full range of Government support can be found here.
Martin Wing, Chairman XFE: “Support for fledgling businesses is critical at the moment. We are delighted to have been able to move quickly and offer this CBILS backed finance offer through AskIf. Cashflow and liquidity are essential for all businesses, of all sizes, and if this goes some way in enabling the communities we support to see through the current challenges, then we are doing our job well. The right finance with the right levels of support are essential; information and knowledge are what people urgently need to make informed decisions for them, their businesses and their families.”
Through AskIf, XFE and XES can offer loans from £10,000 to £60,000 to businesses that have been trading for a minimum of 12 months. AskIf is an inclusive lender that combines a ‘human touch’ customer approach with the technology to deliver a streamlined customer experience.
Samantha Bamert, founder and CEO of AskIf said, “We are delighted to be working with an organisation that has such an exceptional reputation. Smaller enterprises are the lifeblood of our economy and need all the support they can get right now. We are confident the support we can give to business owners from the forces and services communities through XFE and XES will benefit many businesses and their own customers, not just now during this challenging time but when they need to set themselves for growth too”.
CBILS provides the lender with a Government-backed guarantee. The borrower also benefits from Government support covering all arrangement fees and the first twelve months of interest. With these AskIf loans there are no personal guarantees required and also no early repayment penalties if the borrower gets back on track sooner than expected.
Joanna Hill, Commercial Director of AskIf said, “I have been a big fan of the XFE Team for a number of years. I saw first-hand the impact their support has on Armed Forces Communities when I was CEO of Start Up Loans. I am delighted that AskIf can be part of the continued support offered to these inspirational businesses at a time of great need. The business owners supported by XFE are by their very nature resilient and committed, but we all need a helping hand in times of difficulty. The fact XFE have signed up to this scheme is indicative of their continued efforts to ensure their businesses have what they need when they need it.”.
If you would like more information about the partnership with AskIf please complete this registration form and one of the team will get back to you as soon as they can.