New UK Government grants for small businesses

  • 08 Dec 2020

UK Export Finance (UKEF) has launched a new guarantee scheme that will free up funds for UK SMEs to cover the costs of international trade, supporting thousands of jobs and livelihoods across the country.

UKEF is a ministerial department of the UK Government, with aims to ensure that no viable UK export fails for lack of finance or insurance, while operating at no net cost to the taxpayer.


Exporters will be able to apply for finance from the UK’s five largest banks backed by a UKEF guarantee to free up working capital that can be used for everyday costs linked to exports and to scale up their business operations. This will help thousands of businesses, particularly SMEs, to fulfil multiple export contracts, pay for labour costs, build their inventory and ease cash flow constraints.

The new General Export Facility will make a huge difference for entrepreneurs who need the financial backing to go global and benefit from free trade agreements.

Financial support can be directly accessed from HSBC, Lloyds Bank, Natwest, Santander and Barclays, the major providers of trade finance in the country, which can put in place UKEF’s guarantee automatically.


Other lenders will be added to the facility in due course to ensure that it is available for as many businesses as possible.

Commenting on the scheme, Managing Director of UK Finance, Stephen Pegge, said: "Supporting British exporters at this time is vital, which is why UK Finance and five of the main export lenders have been working closely with UKEF on the development of this new guarantee scheme.

"We expect business to apply from the new year as the General Export Facility enables lenders to support an even wider range of small and medium-sized firms, giving businesses the confidence to win new contracts by having an agreed revolving facility in place."


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