Fintechs Provide Tools to Help SMEs, Gig Workers

While financial technology companies are themselve getting hit by the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, yet several UK fintech innovators are helping small businesses stay afloat.

In recent years and all across the globe, fintech companies have been developing new applications or financial resources to help consumers and small entrepreneurs organise and improve finances. They have managed to ruffle the feathers of traditional banks and other lending institutions, by providing consumers and business startups with agile technologies and solutions for obtaining funds.

Although financial technology companies are not immune to the disruptions caused by the current coronavirus health crisis, some have shown concern on the impact of the current crisis on small businesses in the UK. Many fintechs are currently focused on providing quick solutions that can help small players obtain the government funding relief they need in the fastest and surest ways possible.

Solution Provided by Fintechs to Gig Workers and Independent Solo Entrepreneurs

UK fintechs, many of them volunteers, have been developing new tools aligned with economic relief programs that the UK government launched in helping consumers, gig workers and solo-proprietors of small businesses. Below are some examples:

Starling Bank

Starling Bank, a UK licensed and regulated bank that operates digitally and only by way of mobile devices, recently rolled out the “Connected Card.” It works as an emergency debit card that enables a Starling Account Holders restricted by orders for self-isolation, to extend the use of his or her account, not just to family members but even to carers and friends, so they can purchase essential items on the account holder’s behalf.

The Starling account holder is protected by limiting the Connected Card balance to £200; whist allowing him or her to track and manage use of the extended card, by way of a related mobile app.

“Covid Credit”

Several dozens of UK fintechs came forward to render volunteer work in helping build an application that enabled gig workers, freelancers and self-employed individuals to self-certify their lost income. The certification, being a document required by the UK government in processing applications for economic relief.

“Coronavirus Calculator”

Developers at Countingup, touted as the leading provider of agile solutions for banking and accounting needs of small business in the UK, came out with Countingup. This app enables self-employed individuals to immediately determine how much financial relief they could obtain from the UK government’s coronavirus funding program for small businesses ran by solo proprietors.

“Coronavirus Furlough HMRC Claim Calculator”

Pento, creator of automated payroll tools specifically for use of startup small businesses, created the “Coronavirus Furlough HMRC Claim Calculator.” This tool helps startup entrepreneurs determine how much they can claim as financial relief from the UK government under the “Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.” The government program intends to help employers of small businesses keep workers employed instead of making them take a leave of absence.

Financial Assistance For Small To Medium Businesses Affected By Covid-19

Small businesses are among the industries that are most affected by the COVID-19 epidemic. To address this, the U.S. Small and Medium Business Administration provides economic relief loans. While these financial aid loans can be an important step for businesses looking to survive their business, the Small Business Administration says it is essentially looking at more plans to assist small businesses throughout the country by enlisting an authorized lender to provide additional loans.

Trump: We’ll Be ‘Making Lots Of Small Business Loans’ Amid Coronavirus Spread | NBC News NOW

The U.S. Small and Medium Business Administration defines small businesses as those with 500 employees or less. The only businesses to be excluded are lenders, gambling agencies or any type of speculative industry.

Businesses may apply for loans of up to $ 2 million at a rate of 3.75% for up to 30 years, but the SBA explained this is not the only plan under consideration to support the current economic climate.

“They are yet talking about this. There are numerous matters, and I can not guess what it’s going to be but I’m sure these negotiations are going on,” said department manager Steve Bugler. “The president, lawmakers, and the SBA are working together on this. “

Since no one knows how long this outbreak flu will last, the overall economic effect of the virus is unknown. Visit the SBA website for more information. Or you may call their direct number also found on their website.

Additional Financial Assistance From The SBA

There will be more financial assistance in the future through SBA loans given to SMEs. The White House declared that the SBA would give lower interest lending options to SMEs impacted by the Coronavirus, and on March 11 asked Congress to raise its $ 50 billion budget.

It is unclear which companies are eligible for financing or which loan programs are available. Contact your SBA regional office for the most recent info.

During the outbreak of the corona pandemic, are financial institutions ready to give assistance?

If you currently have a business loan and run a business within an affected region, you don’t have to stress about repayments being missed. Loan providers including Bank of America and Wells Fargo have issued statements that indicate they are ready to work with borrowers. Deferment or possible reduction of amount due may be an option as a result of the coronavirus incident. Check with the lender for available options.

Grants offered to businesses impacted by the coronavirus

Some local governing bodies like New York and firms like Amazon have begun providing cash aid to businesses impacted by the Coronavirus. These subsidies are smaller than standard loans and are restricted to businesses in a few areas. Grants offered by Amazon are available only to businesses in Seattle.

You can check with your local business unit to find out which big companies are providing grants in your area of business. The basic concept of some personal subsidies is to offset the income losses that some businesses may face after the company has a mandatory homework policy.

The Impact Of Corona Virus On Economies Throughout The World

The corona epidemic reveals how susceptible the network of economies is throughout the world. The main challenge started in China, however, it has spread and made a huge impact on American, European, and German companies. Technically throughout the global market.

Europe is feeling the effect of the Corona spread. Italy shows what could also come up in Germany. The virus, Corona is less fatal than any other previous epidemics. On the other hand, the virus is beginning to bring economic operations to a halt.

Coronavirus Affecting Economies and Businesses Around the World

Investors Are Alarmed

The financial market has been alarmed by the pandemic resulting in a market panic. Many investors including those who were eyeing on Canadian stocks to buy came to a standstill.

In China, besides the insufficiency of factory workers, there is also an issue on travel where truck drivers are not allowed to work and possibly fear to work. There had been traffic on the transportation of goods in significant regions of the country. For many weeks, operations have stopped, containers weren’t moved from the ports and therefore there was no movement from the factories to the shops.

The government in China is currently hoping to get people to return to work. This makes it possible for production to start in considerably less infected districts, even though the full potential could hardly be reached. This approach is supposed to stop the country’s overall economy from falling apart entirely and therefore placing the strength of the Communist Party in danger. Even so, it is utterly uncertain if the crisis in the nation is coming in order. Through these measures, however, there is a great danger that the virus will spread again.

The scenario in China and, recently, in Europe, investors in the financial markets became worried about the possible losses due to the pandemic compared to the 2008 financial crisis. The turmoil is not yet similar to the pressure of the tragedy at that time, however, the corona epidemic contains the possibility for a downturn that has not taken place since the monetary crisis. It is similar that a financial shock brought on by the virus could impact the world as a whole as it did.

A Total Unfavorable Scenario

Following the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers in 2008, it has become clear how highly networked and connected the financial world was as it is still at this time. Today in the midst of the Corona turmoil we observe the tight connection of global industries in terms of production, logistics, as well as services.

The world hopes that the virus will come to a halt before it infects the entire world. Even with a low fatality rate, the number can increase into thousands. In addition, an outbreak could place the global economy in an exceedingly critical turmoil, considering a range of bankruptcies and people losing their jobs. Likely countermeasures are being outlined and solutions should be in place before everything goes out of hand.