Farmers impacted by Covid-19 advised to review finances

The government’s emphasis on banks helping clients more proactively could help farmers stave off the worst economic impacts of the Covid-19 crisis
The government’s emphasis on banks helping clients more proactively could help farmers stave off the worst economic impacts of the Covid-19 crisis

Farmers are being advised that lenders are still very much in the marketplace as rural businesses continue to be impacted by Covid-19.

Finance options are available for farmers to support their ongoing cashflow needs even during the lockdown period, according to Fisher German.

Lenders have reacted quickly to ensure continuity of service moving to a fully electronic application process that can be undertaken remotely.

The property consultancy is advising farmers to review their finances as some may find it a positive time to borrow or restructure existing debt due to low interest rates.



Holly Parry, of Fisher German, said the government’s emphasis on banks helping clients more proactively could help farm businesses stave off the worst economic impacts of the crisis.

“Many businesses are being impacted by Covid-19, particularly if they have diversified into leisure and tourism," Ms Parry said.



She said cashflow fluctuations are happening, and early discussions with advisors and lenders could ensure that facilities are in place to manage the situation.

“Businesses may be impacted by interruptions to supply chains or high staff absences, so being able to access finance could be the making or breaking of a business."

Farmers may also find that it is a good time to borrow due to low interest rates, and securing these rates for terms of up to 30 years allows cashflow to be managed.

Many lenders are offering short-term capital repayment holidays for those impacted by Covid-19, Ms Parry explained.

“The government has asked lenders to do all they can to help businesses, and we have seen a lot of proactive steps taken so far in response to a very difficult and ever-changing situation," she said.

The government itself has also announced a number of stimulus measures and support packages for SMEs impacted by coronavirus.

“Prior to Covid-19 we were advising clients to undertake a business review to ensure they were best placed for the future changes brought about by Brexit.



"The coronavirus pandemic has highlighted the urgency to take action,” Ms Parry added.