Cash flow support for flood stricken farmers

An emergency fund has been set up at zero percent interest by leading asset finance firm Hitachi Capital to support flood stricken farmers in meeting unforeseen costs. Further short term solutions are also available to help with existing financial commitments, in order to manage cash flow, and retaining a clean credit history.

Hitachi Capital has a long standing involvement in the agricultural industry, explains Gavin Wraith-Carter, Hitachi Capital Head of Risk. “The feedback from our approved brokers and vendors is that farmers are going to need financial support through this tough and challenging time.

“We are very aware that cash flow is king for many farmers, and we want to offer help and support to the industry in funding unforeseen capital expenditure needs.”

With this in mind, Hitachi have allocated £4 million of short term funding at zero percent interest to assist farmers who need to replace or invest in equipment that may be required as a result of the flooding.

“The full cost of the interest during this period will be covered by Hitachi Capital,” Gavin adds.

“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. In these situations all normal fees will be waived.

Michael Alsop, Vaderstad Managing Director – one of Hitachi’s key vendors – believes that demand for support of this kind is extremely welcomed by the industry in overcoming cash flow concerns.

“With 80 per cent of all farm machinery bought on some form of finance, the burden of extra costs in dealing with the crisis situation, and latterly tackling the necessary remedial work to fields once the flood water subsides will inevitably create financial strain.

“It may take a full growing season for some farmers to recover from this.”

The flooding is causing many diverse and negative impacts, explains Robert Joy of HBV Capital, an Independent Broker and farmer based in mid Devon, who has worked with Hitachi for a number of years.

“I am seeing farmers who are – understandably – becoming increasingly negative as their confidence and attitudes are badly affected. I have clients on the Somerset levels and in the West Country who are under extreme stress from the pressure the floods are putting on their businesses.

“Farmers are very adaptable and resilient, but these are very challenging times.”

Robert also points out that in the current financial world, it is vital for a customer’s credit file to be clean, in order to obtain future funding. “Hitachi’s offer of short term support will bring some financial respite for farmers and allow them to manage their cash flow”, he adds.

“This offer of financial support gives me confidence in Hitachi, as they have listened to our concerns and taken them on board; it will be a real boost to some farmers at a time when they need all the help they can get.”

Robert concludes, “The key advice to farmers in this situation is to adopt a proactive approach and monitor your situation to foresee any cash flow problems early, and hopefully prevent any further implications.”

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