The Chancellor’s announcement of a simple micro loan scheme shows that he has listened to the concerns of local builders who have struggled to access affordable finance during the lockdown, said the Federation of Master Builders (FMB). However, with many small to medium-sized (SME) construction sites still shut, an SME Support Fund that issues grants is needed to help builders grow sustainably/freely once lockdown ends.
Brian Berry, Chief Executive of the FMB, said: “The Chancellor has listened to local builders’ concerns about cashflow, raised by the FMB, and brought forward a simple loan scheme for viable firms. This marks a positive step when just 4% of builders were able to acquire credit through previous schemes.”
Berry concluded: “Cashflow is currently builders’ biggest headache because many construction sites remain shut. The combined challenges of accessing scarce materials, working safely in a client’s home, and protecting the health of the construction workforce, has left many firms unable to continue bringing income in. An SME Support Fund in England, similar to the ones in Scotland and Wales, is needed to issue grants and ensure that these firms can hit the ground running post-lockdown. Builders, and the construction industry, will thrive if they are able to reinvest their profits back into the economy, rather than paying back a loan.”
Notes to editors
The Federation of Master Builders (FMB) is the largest trade association in the UK construction industry representing thousands of firms in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Established in 1941 to protect the interests of small and medium-sized (SME) construction firms, the FMB is independent and non-profit making, lobbying for members’ interests at both the national and local level.
The FMB is a source of knowledge, professional advice and support for its members, providing a range of modern and relevant business building services to help them succeed. The FMB is committed to raising quality in the construction industry and offers a free Find a Builder service to consumers.