Originally posted on 10 Jan 2014

Businesses affected by flooding around the UK are being offered interest-free loans to help them get back on their feet, reported the BBC on 9 January.

Hundreds of shops and companies across the south of England are still recovering from torrential rain over the last few weeks. Now NatWest and RBS have launched a fund worth £250m to provide short-term loans for those affected:

  • The bank said the loans will be interest-free for up to three months.
  • The maximum amount available to any one business will be £250,000.

The NatWest and RBS press release this week says:

8th January 2014: NatWest and RBS have launched a £250m UK Storm Business Fund to provide short term, interest free financing to speed recovery for businesses affected by recent floods and gales. Loans can cover the cost of repairs and replacement stock to help businesses return to normal trading. Interest-free loans* will be provided for 3 months giving businesses the breathing space they need to get back on their feet. The fund and support package are available for all viable businesses adversely affected, not just existing NatWest and RBS customers.

A number of other emergency measures have been introduced in addition to the UK Storm Business Fund:

  • Repayment holidays on existing small business loans
  • Temporary credit card limit increases
  • Waiving of early withdrawal fees and termination costs for customers wishing to access deposits
  • Fast-track requests for temporary overdraft increases

Businesses affected by the adverse weather should contact their relationship manager or call the helpline number below.

NatWest and RBS business managers will continue to contact and visit customers affected to see how else we can help them.

The money will be lent to any business which has been affected by the flooding, not just existing customers of the bank. Some local authorities have also pledged money to help, such as Somerset County Council, which has promised £250,000 to those who have been hit.

Accountants across the UK should be in touch with their clients and suggest that they contact the UK Storms helpline: 0800 529 8544.

Martin Pollins
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