It is safe to say that the first quarter of this year has not been without its challenges. We began the year with Covid numbers increasing and restrictions remaining tight in many countries across the globe, whether in the form of national lockdowns, curfews, or specific measures to control the spread of the virus. In January, the world watched an unprecedented level of change for the United States. Not only did we witness the storming of the US Capital building in an attempt to overturn the election, but two weeks later, and in the exact same location, Joe Biden was inaugurated and became the 46th President of the United States. Kamala Harris joined Biden in her new role as Vice President, making her the first female Vice President in US history. And this was one month in!
For those of us in the United Kingdom, February 22nd saw Boris Johnson talk through the government's 'roadmap out of lockdown’, as well as announcing the significant percentage of the population that had so far received the vaccine (a number which is now more than 30 million, having received their first vaccination), offering a much-needed light at the end of a dark winter for us all, both metaphorically and literally.
In March, we joined many others globally in celebrating both International Women's Day and Global Recycling Day. If you missed these blogs, please see the links below. Of course, there have been many other significant global events and challenges throughout March. However, these two critical topics we have collectively and individually taken stock of as a business.
As I write this now, we have come out of the first stage of lockdown, with groups of six or two families being able to meet outside, and the weather has turned it on for us.
For the team here at InterBay Asset Finance, we have had our busiest quarter ever, as the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) comes to an end. The British Business Bank stated on 26 March that the scheme had delivered £23.3bn loans to 98,344 businesses since it was introduced. This is a cracking amount, and I want to thank our team for their outstanding contribution to this effort.
We now move into the second quarter and are looking more optimistic about the environment around us.