Bira welcomes 100% government-backed loans for small businesses

The British Retailers Association (Bira) has welcomed a new government scheme to offer 100% taxpayer-backed loans for the UK’s small businesses.

Yesterday (27 April), Rishi Sunak announced the scheme would start next week offering firms loans of up to £50,000 within days of applying.

To access the loans, which are free of capital or interest repayments for one year, customers will be required to fill in a two-page self certification form online.

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The move follows widespread criticism of the Government’s Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS), which many businesses have reported being difficult to access.

Andrew Goodacre, Bira CEO, said: “Bira welcomes this new initiative by the chancellor to support the smaller businesses. Independent retailers who have had their business closed and have failed with CBILS desperately need working capital as they prepare to open the doors of their shops as we transition from lockdown.

“We have been asking for more support and I am really pleased about this and would like to see the detail of these new loans to ensure that they will truly support our members and independent retailers in general.”

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