Charities and social enterprises can now apply to a £25m emergency loan fund for financial support during the coronavirus crisis.
Individual loans worth between £100,000 and £500,000 will be available from the Resilience and Recovery Loan Fund, which is funded by Big Society Capital and will be run by Social Investment Business along with its partners Big Issue Invest, Charity Bank, and Social and Sustainable Capital.
Plans for the fund were first announced last month.
Organisations can take out loans for a minimum of 12 months and a maximum of three years, according to a statement from SIB. There will be no fees or interest charged on the first year of any loan, with interest rising to 6.5% in years two and three.
The loan fund has access to the Treasury’s Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, which means that lenders are protected by a government-backed guarantee for the loan repayments.
Hazel Blears, chair of SIB, said: “Charities, social enterprises and voluntary organisations have been hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic, at a time when their role is more critical than ever in supporting our most vulnerable communities.
“The Resilience and Recovery Loan Fund aims to support these organisations, so that they can continue to deliver crucial services to the growing number of those most in need.”
Nick Temple, chief executive at SIB, said: “The team at Social Investment Business has worked at speed to get the Resilience and Recovery Loan Fund up and running.
“The social sector is under significant strain and SIB is very aware that many organisations will need grant or other funding, but we hope that RRLF will help some social organisations to survive and continue their vital work in these challenging times.”
The loan fund is open to charities, community interest companies and community benefit societies. To qualify, organisations will need to be based in the UK with a turnover under £45m per year, and will be asked to self-certify that they have been adversely affected by the pandemic.
More details about applying to the loan fund can be found online.
SIB has also published data on the impact of the coronavirus crisis on local economies in communities all over the country.