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IRC launches ‘We are open' online directory to promote small shops and business still open

14 May 2020

Open shops and small businesses are urged to add themselves to the new ‘We are open' interactive map
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FCA seeks legal judgement to clarify whether insurers should pay CV-19 claims made by firms

14 May 2020

More than a million businesses forced to close during the coronavirus lockdown may know whether insurers will have to pay previously rejected business interruption claims in a matter of... Read more…

Free ActSmart subscription to help businesses through Covid-19

14 May 2020

ActSmart are offering three months of FREE access to to a range of services and support with the ActSmart bronze subscription in return for a small charitable donation
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250 free-of-charge digital Out of Home campaigns offered to local businesses

13 May 2020

Free Out of Home campaigns will help local entrepreneurs across the UK to highlight how they've adapted to continue trading in the current circumstances.
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Working safely during COVID-19 in shops and branches

13 May 2020

A summary of the specific guidance for shops on working safely
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How consumer behaviour has changed among the British public in the face of COVID-19

10 May 2020

Recent research undertaken by the Institute of Customer Service displays evidence that the British public now place higher value on customer service that they did before COVID-19
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Government will deliver a "tapered" end to furlough scheme

5 May 2020

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has promised there will be no "cliff-edge" cut-off to the government's job retention scheme to support workers through the coronavirus pandemic.
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Coronavirus Testing available for shop workers

30 Apr 2020

The Government has extended COVID-19 testing to essential workers with symptoms and people who live with essential workers and have symptoms. This includes anyone with symptoms whose work cannot... Read more…

Best practice on offering and processing ‘card not present' payments

23 Apr 2020

This guidance is designed to inform retailers about best practice on offering and processing ‘card not present' payments during the Covid-19 outbreak.
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Get ready to make your claim under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme today!

20 Apr 2020

As of today employers can make a claim through the Job Retention Scheme if they have put their employees on temporary leave (furlough) because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
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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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