The outbreak of COVID-19 has been one of the biggest disruptions to businesses and daily life in living memory. We know things are uncertain at the moment, so we want to reassure you that we are here to help you.
The rapid outbreak of COVID-19 presents an alarming health crisis that the entire world is facing. Alongside the health implications, there is significant commercial impact being felt both nationally and internationally. Large-scale quarantines, travel restrictions, and social-distancing measures have driven a sharp fall in consumer and business spending, impacting businesses across the UK, including the North West.
According to new insights from Greater Manchester Chamber’s business monitor survey, over two thirds of businesses reported not being confident at all about business prospects over the next three months. At Maven, we are committed to doing everything we can to support our portfolio companies and stakeholders through this challenging season. We would like to assure you of the appropriate measures we are taking in response to the situation and give you some detail on what you can expect from us.
Following government guidance to work from home where possible, our team is working remotely and here to support you throughout this period. Over recent years, we have taken many steps to build a business that can remain resilient through uncertain times and we are fully capable of continuing to deliver our service remotely.
Supporting new applicants
We continue to stand behind both smaller and larger businesses and we would like to reassure you that we are still providing funding to new applicants. Amid the uncertainty, there is some better news. Notwithstanding the new challenges, our team has continued to focus on providing businesses with the loan packages they need to grow.
Supporting our portfolio companies
Our aim has always been to build a vibrant and sustainable venture capital community in the North. We have been in regular contact with our portfolio companies, providing updates on Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS), Job Retention Scheme and supporting with any other issues. These businesses are important for the future of the North and our goal is to continue to work with them portfolio businesses during this challenging time, providing continuity to both the business and its customer base wherever possible.
What we expect in the coming months
In times like these it’s more important than ever to take a long-term view. Significant economic changes are unusual events but are not unprecedented, and we have seen time and again that economies can bounce back, even after facing hard hits. So while Maven, like other regional fund managers, will need to be more prudent with regard to the new companies it supports in the coming months, our positioning remains the same.
“We have been working closely with our portfolio businesses to share information and provide support with decisions to navigate their way through the challenges they face in these unprecedented times,” explains Karen De Meza, Portfolio Director, “the majority have had to make very tough decisions in what is a time of uncertainty for them. In general, their adaptability to a new way of doing business and the resilience shown is impressive; we have encouraged many of the portfolio businesses to cross-sell and support each other where possible and that too is really encouraging, a mind-set we hope will continue in the future.”