May 29, 2020

How We’re Helping Manufacturing Businesses in Tough Times


It’s been a bumpy ride for UK manufacturing in recent years – first the spectre of Brexit and now the small matter of a global pandemic tearing supply chains apart and decimating order books.

We’ve worked with many manufacturers during the past few years, and we’ve learned one thing: the people leading those businesses are resilient and innovative.

As bank lending has become a drawn-out box-ticking exercise, we’ve stepped in to provide vital finance when it’s been needed the most.

  • Read HERE how we helped a specialist engineering company access £350k to manage cash flow challenges.
  • Read HERE how we helped a manufacturing business make crucial repairs to necessary machinery.

During the current pandemic, we’re speaking to a lot of manufacturing businesses, and we hear some common problems.

  • Capital is hard to find: While the government packages are helpful, the CBILS scheme is taking a long time to process and many feel that they will need additional funding. Alongside this, asset and invoice financing levels have contracted as lenders tighten criteria.
  • Bad debt concerns: Manufacturers are fulfilling large orders while having serious concerns about the financial future of their clients. Many worry that when it comes to getting paid, their clients may be unable to settle invoices.
  • Cash flow disruption: Business owners are looking at financial plans, and many are seeing a considerable cash deficit; once the furlough scheme winds down they’re not sure how they will plug the gap.
  • Demand drying up: For many manufacturers, the phone has stopped ringing, and they don’t have confidence in when (if ever) orders will start again.
  • Supply chain challenges: While orders dry up, it’s also becoming increasingly difficult to deliver products. Many manufacturers rely on complex international supply chains for raw materials and parts, creating problems producing finished products.

Although the problems are now more widespread and severe than at any time we can remember – the nature of those problems hasn’t changed. Manufacturing businesses need cash to manage risk, make orders and keep the business operational. As it always has been, our focus is on understanding the challenges each business faces.

We know that manufacturing carries a high degree of uncertainty and that it’s impossible to use standard lending criteria to assess every application.

We look at the whole proposition, with a key focus on the underlying strength of the business. We don’t reject loans to viable companies based on a few small CCJs or some recent poor trading – instead, we look at the whole picture:

  • Is the business well run?
  • Do the directors have experience in the sector?
  • Is demand for the product likely to remain high?
  • Are there clear explanations for any recent adverse events?
  • For larger loans, is there some form of security?
  • Do we believe in the vision of the business?

When we’re reviewing applications our team will look closely at affordability, but we’re flexible – we’ll look at intangibles and always look for a way to get the loan completed.

Our lending is based on four pillars:

Speed: We work to your schedule – not ours – to get deals completed, read HERE how we completed a £1m deal in seven days.

Common sense: Every business is different, so we look at the specific circumstances rather than set criteria.

Flexibility: Repayment schedules and terms that suit specific circumstances.

Expertise: We’ve been doing this a long time, so we’ll explore every angle to find a solution.

To discuss a commercial loan between £25,000 and £1m, email the team on, or call on 0161 451 5710.