Grant funding of £4m offered to help charities access coronavirus loan scheme

Blended grant funding worth £4m is being made available to be used alongside the Resilience and Recovery Loan Fund to support charities in England affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Resilience and Recovery Loan Fund was set up to provide emergency loans to affected social enterprises and charities without requiring personal guarantees and charging no fees or interest for 12 months.

The additional funding will be delivered by the Social Investment Business, with money from the social investment foundation Access, working with delivery partners Big Issue Invest, CAF Venturesome, Charity Bank, Resonance and Social and Sustainable Capital.

The grant support forms part of the wider £30m Access has received from dormant bank accounts to create new blended finance solutions for charities and social enterprises in England affected by coronavirus.

The RRLF is still available, and applicants can be approved for a loan without any grant award alongside it. 

To date, it has approved loans from 19 charities and social enterprises, with a total value of almost £6.1m.

Grants will only be awarded alongside a loan if it is clear that the interruption to their business model means that they would struggle to meet a viability threshold for a loan without the grant.

The SIB and Access hope this will widen the reach and accessibility of the fund.

Nick Temple, chief executive of SIB, said: “Introducing this blended finance solution to RRLF widens the accessibility of the fund to organisations who would otherwise struggle to meet the viability threshold for a loan.”

Applicants will be assessed on a case by case basis alongside the loan, grants that are awarded will range in size from £40,000 to £300,000 and can be worth between 20 and 40 per cent of the loan amount.

Seb Elsworth, chief executive of Access, said: “Blended finance can help more charities and social enterprises to benefit from social investment, and this applies to emergency lending too.”

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