With so much change happening at the moment, we wanted to provide a brief update on Acorn, how we are adapting to the changes, what we have been focusing on and what we are shifting our focus to, moving forward.

Funding arrangements

For the past 3 weeks we’ve been helping clients achieve repayment holidays with lenders. We’ve made great progress with this and I think in all cases now we’ve been able to help clients obtain repayment holidays or restructured repayments to suit their specific requests.

Keeping up to date with funder partners has been key and we are in regular contact with them to ensure we’re working in-line with their new credit policies. It’s now clear as to which funders will be able to continue to lend and those who have postponed funding for the time-being.

I’m pleased to say that our core funding partners are continuing to lend, so we are fortunate in that respect.

 

Adapting to the outbreak

From a business perspective it’s been inspiring to see how many companies have adapted to the constant changing landscape over the last few weeks. Being able to pivot quickly is a skill many businesses would have never given themselves credit for.  It just illustrates what we are capable of when forced to make difficult decisions. Doesn’t this prove that putting ourselves and our businesses outside our comfort zone is the best way to keep evolving?

Enabling staff to work from home, moving client meetings online and looking for ways to acclimatise to the ‘new normal’ has shown the remarkable resilience of the UK business sector, and I’m confident a good percentage of businesses will be looking to maintain this element of flexibility in their future planning and contingencies going forward.

Like any SME, Acorn have had to adapt to these changes too. All our team have been moved over to remote working from home on secure, encrypted devices & networks. Meetings with clients and colleagues are now conducted on Zoom due to the sheer volume of data & info we are consuming, and due to the speed in which matters are evolving, we’re reviewing our policies and procedures regularly to ensure we can always deliver excellent service to our clients.

 

New loan products

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS)

We’re receiving plenty of requests for CBILS funding because, quite simply, many businesses are either not getting any response from their bank or have no confidence that their relationship manager can deliver the funding required.

We’ve contacted all the non-bank lenders authorised to offer the CBILS scheme and the response has often been, don’t call, just email us.  Many of them will only offer Asset Finance on CBILS which clearly is not what most businesses need at this time.

As a result, we’ve established that we can assist clients with CBILS by preparing their application with all the relevant info, preparing cash flow forecasts and a full professional write up to present to their own bank.

Having spoken to 3 challenger banks who are able to administer the scheme, they have all said that they will process deals for existing clients before accepting deals from 3rd parties.  They have said that having a full proposal prepared by a 3rd party is likely to receive a quicker decision.  You need to reduce the lag and ability for the bank to come back with a long list of questions, this is what we specialise in and is why we are extremely successful in achieving quick decisions day in day out for our clients.

Acorn charge a flat fee of £990 + VAT for our time on these applications which is payable upfront.

 

Furlough funding

We’ve developed a new product to assist clients with their cash flow whilst awaiting refunds from HMRC for furloughed staff.

A bespoke 3-month, revolving facility which we have secured specifically for Acorn clients. Currently capped at a max lend of £150k, the facility can be revolved up to 3 times. Essentially giving you 12 months’ worth of interest only funding.

Although it’s unlikely that you would require this facility for 4 quarters, it’s useful to know that if you still weren’t in a position to repay the capital after the 4th quarter, you can opt to repay the capital over a further 12 months.

If you’d like to find out more, please call 01242 395 507

 

New Website

We’ve spent the last few months re-developing and re-designing our website with a new fresh new look.

The new design highlights the huge strides forward we’ve made as a business over the last year and will give you a good insight into how we operate, the types of products we offer and our integrity as a business.

You can take a look here www.acornbusinessfinance.co.uk

 

Projects for 2020

Our main project for 2020 is to develop a secure, online portal for introducers to easily request funding for their clients. Through this our partners will be able to attach all the relevant supporting info which is all linked to our secure CRM system (salesforce) enabling us to propose a deal straight away.

Keep an eye out for more updates on this in 2020.

If you would like any further information on any of the above, please don’t hesitate to call 01242 395 507 or email hello@acornbusinessfinance.co.uk

 

We wish that you & your families stay well at this troubling time.

Stuart Gibson

Managing director

www.acornbusinessfinance.co.uk