The Builders Merchants Federation (BMF) says it is “astonished” more members have not taken advantage of its government-backed trade credit scheme and is urging more members to sign up.
The BMF Trade Credit Scheme gives member companies access to up to £50 million of government-backed guarantees, but only £1.5m has been signed off to date to support around 75 merchant customers.
A number of BMF’s merchant members are actively using the scheme but the association has said there is ample capacity for more to join the scheme.
BMF MD, John Newcomb, said: “The BMF Trade Credit Scheme is clearly working for some of our members but I am astonished that more have not taken the opportunity to access these funds. I would urge those who haven’t yet taken action to apply now. It is a risk-free way to grow business and take advantage of the upturn in the market.”
“It could also be a case of ‘use it or lose it’ as the British Business Bank will be reviewing the scheme over the summer. If it is being well-used they will be encouraged to extend the pilot scheme beyond 30th September 2014, when it is due to end. Whatever happens, any credit facilities granted during the pilot period will remain in place for a full twelve months, effectively until September 2015, which offers a huge commercial benefit for those participating.”
Joe Tipper, director of Tippers, believes the scheme is “a great asset to the industry” and is keen to see it continue “for as long as possible”.
Tipper said: “It has helped us extend additional credit to customers across the board, from large contractors down to those needing just a few thousand pounds. We have been able to take on a lot more business – doubling credit limits in some cases and making sure that customers are trading with us at those levels. It has worked so well for some customers that we have already increased their trading level for a second time.”