03 Apr 2020

Emergency bank loans will be easier to recieve, says Chancellor

Bira is backing today's Government announcement that Covid-19 bank loans will be easier to apply for and receive.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak said there will be changes to proposed government assistance measures, after the banks were criticised making it too difficult for businesses seeking help.

The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) will be easier to apply for and receive. The Government said more than 130,000 applications had been received, but only 1,000 had so far been paid out.

Previously, small businesses applying for the scheme needed to have been refused a commercial loan. This restriction has now been lifted so all businesses can apply for the government loans.

Banks will also be banned from asking company owners to guarantee loans with their own savings or property when borrowing up to £250,000.

Andrew Goodacre, Bira’s CEO, said: “We welcome the Government’s renewed efforts to make the pledged bank loans more accessible for small independent retailers when they need them most.

“I hope we now see the cash fast-tracked to the retailers and a significant increase in the number of accepted – and actioned – applications."

At the start of this week, Bira conducted a members' survey which revealed only 1% of respondents who'd applied for CBILS had so far been successful."

Andrew added: "After the results of our survey we appealed to the Government to put pressure on the banks to make lending more straightforward. This move shows that they have listened to Bira."

Have your voice heard: Bira has launched a special deal offering three months free membership to support independent retailers through the Covid-19 crisis. Find out more here 

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