Covid-19: Bira welcomes call for more loan access

A government pledge to pressure banks into supporting small business during the coronavirus pandemic has been welcomed by the Pet Product Retail Association parent company the British Independent Retailers Association (BIRA).

The business secretary Alok Sharma recently called on high street lenders to ease access of the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loans Scheme for small independent retailers during the pandemic.

His intervention on 1 April came after reports from some businesses – including many Bira members – that their banks were making it increasingly difficult to access the recently created loan scheme.

Earlier this week Bira revealed out of all members surveyed who applied for the loan only 1% had been successful so far, whilst many businesses were still awaiting for a response.

 Andrew Goodacre, Bira CEO, said: “We were shocked and disappointed that so few of our members had been able to access the money available to them when they are so desperately in need.

 “We called on the Government to take action and in the Business Secretary’s statement, it shows they are listening to Bira. We will continue to lobby the Government, the banks and the local authorities to make pledged cash quickly and easily available for our members and the wider independent retail community.”

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