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Government pressures banks to support small independent businesses

3 Apr 2020

The Business Secretary has called on high street lenders to ease access to the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loans Scheme (CBILS) for small independent retailers during the crisis.
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National Living Wage Increases and Future Targets

2 Apr 2020

The National Living Wage and National Minimum Wage rates increased yesterday, following recommendations made to the Government by the Low Pay Commission
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Local Bike Shop Day 2020 postponed following retailer vote

31 Mar 2020

As Local Bike Shop Day is a day encompassing the whole trade, the final judgement was given to the bike shops that had signup to take part. Out of all the respondents the overwhelming majority -... Read more…

IRC supports Government's challenge to business insurers

31 Mar 2020

The Treasury Select Committee led by Mel Stride MP, has challenged the Association of British Insurers (ABI) regarding the support offered to business via their members, with specific regard to... Read more…

Nearst enables you to stay in contact with your customers via Whatsapp

27 Mar 2020

ActSmart partner NearSt introduce the option to add WhatsApp chat functionality on your NearSt shop page!
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eBay Supports Small Businesses by Waiving Fees

27 Mar 2020

eBay has today pledged to support small business owners by offering a 30day payment holiday for existing sellers and is waiving fees for all new businesses registering to list or sell until... Read more…

Deferral of VAT payments as a result of COVID-19

27 Mar 2020

UK VAT registered business with VAT payments due between 20 March 2020 and 30 June 2020 have the option to defer the payment until a later date or pay the VAT due as normal
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Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme guidance

27 Mar 2020

Check if you could be covered by the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
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Government Announces Three Month Extension for Businesses to File Accounts

26 Mar 2020

The deadline for filing all accounts will be extended by three months for businesses that have been affected by Covid-19
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Help with non-domestic rates in Scotland during coronavirus (COVID-19)

25 Mar 2020

To help owners of non-domestic properties, including businesses, deal with the impact of COVID-19, the Scottish Government has made changes to non-domestic rates (business rates) for 2020-21.... Read more…

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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