With many areas of the country facing further flood alerts over the new few days – with 115 areas expected to be hit – leading asset finance firm Hitachi Capital has set up a multi-million zero percent interest Rural Emergency Fund to support flood-hit rural and local businesses in meeting unforeseen costs.
Gavin Wraith-Carter, General Manger at Hitachi Capital Business Finance comments: “Hitachi Capital has a long-standing involvement in the agricultural and commercial industries and it is important for us to stand shoulder to shoulder with them when they tackle the implications of extreme weather which can put their business at risk. The feedback from our approved brokers and vendors is that farmers and rural businesses are going to need financial support through this tough and challenging time.
“We are very aware how vital cash flow is for many farmers and small business owners, and we want to go beyond the call of duty and be there when they need us, supporting rural businesses in funding unforeseen capital expenditure needs.”
With this in mind, Hitachi have allocated short-term funding of £5 million to assist rural and local businesses who need to replace or invest in equipment that may be required as a result of the flooding. This is the third time that Hitachi has offered short-term funding of this kind to help support local businesses through these incidents of bad flooding.
Wraith-Carter adds: “The full cost of the interest during this period will be covered* and in these situations all normal fees will be waived. In the short term we are also able to provide immediate financial assistance where cash flow issues have arisen through a number of solutions, including three-month repayment holidays where required.”
Further short-term solutions are also being made available by Hitachi Capital Business Finance to help with existing financial commitments, in order to manage cash flow and retain a clean credit history.
Rex Tattersall, Director at Rural Finance said: “When rural communities face extreme weather it is important for those that support the community to step forward and make a difference. It is not only the farming community that is suffering in the rural sector. The stress and worry that SME’s operating in flood-stricken areas experience have very real business consequences. When your business premises or assets are damaged, income streams are severely affected and any help that can be given to help SMEs get back to full operating strength will be warmly welcomed. Hitachi Capital’s Rural Emergency Fund sets a real example in the market.”