Coronavirus – prepare and prevent for more peace of mind

We understand the worry and concern coronavirus is causing and that everything feels very uncertain at the moment. We want to reassure you that everyone here at Santander is working hard to make sure your business continues to get the help and support it needs. The tips below are designed to support your business and ensure you’re well prepared during these uncertain times.

Tip 1 – Speak to your local Relationship Director for help and support

We lend £20bn to small and medium sized businesses and will continue to do so supporting customers new and old during this uncertainty. We remain in close contact with all our customers to see how we can support them. Our support will be tailored to the specific needs of each customer and could include access to capital repayment holidays and additional liquidity across working capital, trade finance and loan facilities.

Support from the Government

The Government has announced the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS). Its aim is to give UK businesses access to finance during the coronavirus outbreak.

Through CBILS, businesses may be able to apply for a loan of up to £5m. The scheme provides lenders with a partial government backed guarantee against the loan balance. It's important to note that, if successful in your application, your business will remain responsible for the whole (ie.100%) of the debt.

CBILS supports Santander business finance products including:

  • Term facilities;
  • Overdrafts;

More about CBILS

In addition to the above initiatives, the Government has announced a number of schemes over the past week to support businesses through the disruption caused by coronavirus. These include:

  • a statutory sick pay relief package for SMEs;
  • a 12-month business rates holiday for all retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England;
  • small business grant funding of £10,000 for all businesses in receipt of small business rate relief or rural rate relief; and
  • grant funding of £25,000 for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with property with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000.

A summary of the different government support available for businesses can be found here.

Businesses can find information on the whole range of support that the Government is offering at the COVID-19: guidance for employees, employers and businesses page.

Tip 2 – Use the Connect Online Banking Service where possible

Our telephone lines are very busy, so we ask that you use Online Banking wherever possible, particularly if you are a user of manual payments. This will help you avoid potential delays. The Connect Help Centre is available on our website and provides information to help you use Connect. This includes several YouTube tutorials that administrators can share with new users, so they can familiarise themselves with the service.

Tip 3 – Know your Connect log on details

Make sure your online log on details are up to date so you can access your accounts and services, many of which are available online. If you don’t have log on details please register online.

Tip 4 – Increase the number of users or administrators who can use Santander Connect

You may want to consider increasing the number of users and/or administrators who can access Connect, to prepare for the potential risk of people in your business being unavailable. You can increase the number of Connect users through your existing administrator, or by contacting the Connect Helpdesk on 0800 085 1580.

Tip 5 – Understand the impact of coronavirus on your sector and/or markets

If you need to find out the impact coronavirus is having on the sector in which you operate or international markets you trade with, our team of sector specialists, country specialists and eco-system partners are ready to help you.

They have the latest market information as well as guidance on the effect coronavirus is having in each specific market. The team will also be running a series of webinars, with leading industry representatives and partners based on the ground in multiple markets to provide tips and information for businesses during this time.

For more information, please email issinsightteam@santander.co.uk.

Tip 6 – Stay alert to the risk of fraud

Unfortunately, fraudsters are trying to take advantage of the current situation. It’s important to be vigilant for anything suspicious, including messages about coronavirus that might appear to be from your bank. Remember, we’ll never ask you for your password or ask you to move money from your accounts.

Find out more about how to protect your business.

Tip 7 – Look after your wellbeing

We know that the current situation is creating feelings of stress and isolation, which can affect the mental health of you, your colleagues and employees.

To support you we’ve pulled together tips and information on what you can do to look after your wellbeing.

This includes details about our mental wellbeing partner Thrive and how we’re bringing you access to their NHS approved mental wellbeing app.

Supporting your wellbeing

Protecting your money - Financial Services Compensation Scheme (Opens in a new window)