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COVID-19 – Business Support – Emergency Briefing – Action Needed

Written by Jon Cooper

The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme

We have been party to communications from Lloyds Bank on their general lending criteria in these times and how they anticipate Business Interruption Loan Scheme is going to work.

In our opinion, it isn’t.  This is simply not the right solution for the problem.  Our fear is if this is not addressed, many jobs will be lost and many businesses will close.

The bank acknowledges that Business Interruption Loan Scheme has yet to officially launch and expect of have the details on eligibility and terms tomorrow with a go live on Monday.

In addition, Lloyds has committed a further £2bn outside of the scheme to support clients where possible with loans, overdrafts or payment holidays where no additional fees for arranging these facilities will be charged. 

However, the list of required information regardless of whether you qualify for the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme or are looking additional support from Lloyds, is burdensome and takes no account of the new world order:

This is needed should the bank need to take any personal guarantees and their expectation is that the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme will require this.

COVID-19 is affecting nearly every business in the UK many of whom need immediate assistance.

Even if the business can collate all this information, we do not believe that the banks have the resources to review the details, turn around the paperwork and make funds available in a timely manner. 

This is an extremely urgent situation where businesses need an instant response not an onerous and over-bureaucratic solution.

Moreover, it should not be forgotten that we the tax-payers bailed out the banks, including Lloyds, at their time of crisis with none of this red tape.

We need a mechanism where money is either being paid directly to a business by government, which is the case in Spain and New Zealand amongst others, or is automatically approved and paid by the banks backed by a government guarantee.

We will be writing to The Chancellor to outline or concerns on this today but we would ask you to contact you MP (this can be done by email at https://www.writetothem.com/) or The Chancellor directly at rishi.sunak.mp@parliament.uk.

We need to act as a community and the banks have a duty to step up at a time of crisis. We must not let process kill business!

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