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17 Sep 2021

All ACT members are invited to join in on the APPGCW inquiry report launch. Please contact the ACT if you would like to join in and we...

16 Sep 2021

There's so much to be learned from the success (or lessons) of others, particularly when it come to the ever-moving landscape of social media. So, every week Maybe* dig through all the data to...

15 Sep 2021

Read which lucky bike shops and customers were chosen to receive Local Bike Shop Day prizes

14 Sep 2021

Green Streetis a guide to helping smaller retailers & hospitality businesses work together to slash their carbon footprint and become more sustainable as quickly as possible.

14 Sep 2021

From 1st April 2022, employer NICs will increase by 1.25 percentage points. Employee NICs will also increase by 1.25 percentage points, including for workers above state pension age

13 Sep 2021

Local Bike Shop Day 2021, administered by the Association of Cycle Traders (ACT), was supported by a record number of cycling organisations and bike shops

9 Sep 2021

Join tax compliance company Avalara for a webinar as they cover IOSS & selling into the EU, on Thursday 30th September at 11am.

8 Sep 2021

The Scottish Government has published its shared policy programme following the announcement of the Scottish National Party's power sharing partnership with the Scottish Green Party.

6 Sep 2021

Gary Spengler, the previous owner of Butterworth Spengler, will be riding between 4th to 12th September to complete over 970 miles for a worthy cause

6 Sep 2021

The Wellbeing Guide provides retailers with practical advice on how to support wellbeing for themselves and their colleagues.

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Government pressures banks to support small independent businesses

Posted on in Business News , Cycles News , Political News

About the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme

The temporary Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme was introduced last week to provide SMEs with access to loans, overdrafts, invoice finance and asset finance of up to £5 million and for up to 6 years.

The government also announced that it will also make a Business Interruption Payment to cover the first 12 months of interest payments and any lender-levied fees, so smaller businesses will benefit from no upfront costs and lower initial repayments.

The government listed 40 accredited lenders able to offer the scheme, including all the major banks. More information about the scheme and the full list of accredited lenders are available on the British Business Bank website.

 

Are banks failing independent retailers?

A recent survey completed by a trade organisation within the Independent Retailers Confederation (IRC) asked 300 independent retailers from a variety of sectors across the nation about the support they've received following the outbreak of coronavirus.

The results indicated that a large majority are currently getting little or no help from banks. Just 1% of the independent retailers surveyed that had applied for a business interruption loan said that they had been successful so far. Almost 20% of respondents said that they have approached their lender for help, with many still waiting for a response.

One respondent said: "I was advised an overdraft would be better suited for my needs with an arrangement fee of £150 and more than 6% interest."

Another said: "Had a rather lengthy discussion that was very downbeat and obstructive even though they hold security on my mortgage-free business premises."

 

The government's pledge to pressure banks into making Covid-19 cash accessible

On Wednesday the 1st of April Business Secretary Alok Sharma called on high street lenders to ease access to the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loans Scheme (CBILS) for small independent retailers during the crisis.

His intervention comes following reports from businesses that their banks were making it increasingly difficult to access the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme.

After being questioned regarding the problems that small businesses are having regarding the Loan Scheme, the Business Secretary said:

"Loans for businesses are also being issued through the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme. The chancellor, together with the Bank of England and the FCA, wrote to the chief executives of UK banks to urge them to make sure the benefits of the loan scheme are passed through to businesses and consumers. It would be completely unacceptable if any banks were unfairly refusing funds to good businesses in financial difficulty. Just as the taxpayer stepped in to help the banks in 2008, we will do everything we can to help the banks repay that favour and support the businesses and people of the UK in their time of need."

Mr Sharma has also urged local authorities to speed up the availability of grant money for small businesses.

Hopefully this intervention from Mr Sharka will mean a higher success rate among independent retailers, we will continue to update our members with any new information.

 

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