Big Society Capital is looking to set up an emergency loan fund for charities, and has asked the government for its support. The fund will pool resources from a range of social lenders and is expected to amount to £100m. The final figure will depend on how many lenders take part, and more details will be shared next week.
They have also written an open letter to the secretary of state asking the government to give charities the same support it is offering to businesses.
While charities can, in principle, access the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, which gives businesses access to finance for up to six years, in practice many of them will not be eligible for it. Only charities that receive half of their income from trading activities will be able to apply.
Charities can also apply for the government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, which allows organisations to put staff on leave at 80% pay without making them redundant. However, this does not help charities that have seen their income drop but still need their staff to work, in order to help their beneficiaries and maintain essential services.