Banks protect economy by aiding flood-hit businesses

Businesses that felt the full force of the recent storms in the UK will be boosted by news that a £250m finance scheme is in place to help them recover.


Natwest and RBS have joined forces to launch the UK Storm Business Fund, which will primarily help companies in Norfolk and Suffolk, although those in the rest of country can also apply.


The plan is that the banks will provide short-term, interest-free funding to those companies who require assistance in repairing buildings or replacing damaged stock.


Flooding can potentially destroy a business or leave it facing company administration or liquidation if relevant insurance policies cannot cover the damages.


The banks are keen to ensure that the flooding does not impact upon the economic recovery of the country and are offering the loans for the next three months.


Many businesses are yet to receive insurance payouts and that has left many in financial difficulty, as they are unable to carry out the necessary repairs to areas damaged by flood waters and strong winds.


Placing a focus on cash flow


Cash flow is a critical aspect for many businesses, especially smaller ones, and banks are aware that many took considerable financial hits as a result of the adverse weather.


Loss of trade and damaged stock are the major financial points of concern, alongside repairing any damage to office buildings, warehouses and vehicles.


Getting businesses back operational again as quickly as possible limits the disruption caused by their downtime and should also limit any losses.


The two banks have also launched several emergency measures to help customers affected by flooding, including temporary credit increases and the waiving of fees for temporary overdraft increases.


Norfolk tourism chiefs have already stressed the importance of recovering businesses quickly in order to prevent too much lost trade.


When cash is not readily available, businesses can now potentially recover quickly and limit the damage that downtime could do to their trade.


By Phil Smith


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