RBS and NatWest launch £250m loan fund for hospitality businesses

High street banks NatWest and RBS have launched an interest-free loan fund worth £250 million, to help out hospitality businesses that have been affected by the recent storms that have battered the UK.

During the gales which swept Britain in December (2013), a series of hotels, pubs and restaurants were badly affected, and now the UK Storm Business Fund will offer short-term, interest-free credit to help speed up recovery measures. The loans will be interest free for three months and are available to all businesses, regardless if they are a NatWest or RBS customer or not. Furthermore, the banks will also be offering repayment holidays on existing small business loans, temporary credit card increases and all requests for overdraft increases will be fast-tracked.

Andrew Taylor, head of leisure for commercial banking at NatWest and RBS, said: "As the UK's biggest business bank we know cash flow is critical for businesses. Many leisure businesses will have taken a real hit to their livelihoods as a result of this prolonged period of adverse weather."

Mr Taylor added that natural disasters can lead to financial issues for businesses, causing halts in local economic growth. Two businesses which had been affected by the storms were Reeds Country House Hotel in Lincolnshire and Mercure Box Hill in Dorking. The former closed for good on December 18th when it could not financially cover the flood damage, while the latter is still closed while repairs are being made.

Businesses who are interested in the finance should either visit their local branch or contact the UK Storms helpline on 0800 529 8544 for further details.

Berkeley Scott is a specialist recruitment agency providing hospitality employment solutions.