GCA Joins With Bira In Welcoming Govt Pledge To Ease Up Lending To SMEs

“I know only too well how many of our members are suffering financially due to the direct impact the coronavirus Covid-19 is having on their business, whether a publisher, retailer or supplier. For the sake of our industry and the UK economy as a whole, I wholeheartedly echo the feelings of British Independent Retailers Association (Bira) that we need the Government to fulfil its pledge to put pressure on the banks to ease up lending to SMEs, which make up the bulk of our greeting card community,” stated Amanda Fergusson, ceo of the GCA, who is working with Bira and other associations to ensure that feedback to government is coordinated.
Last night (April 1), 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.

This comes after Business Secretary Alok Sharma’s call yesterday evening  (April 1), for  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 – including card publishers and retailers  – that their banks were making it increasingly difficult to access the recently created loan scheme.
Bira, who has been a steadfast campaigner for help for its members has stepped up its activities adding its pressure for improvements for businesses.

Above: The GCA’s Amanda Fergusson and Bira’s Andrew Goodacre.
Above: The GCA’s Amanda Fergusson and Bira’s Andrew Goodacre.

Earlier this week, a Bira members’ survey revealed that of those who’d applied for the CBILS, only 1% had so far been successful, while many were still waiting for a response.
Andrew Goodacre, Bira’s 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.”
He assured that Bira 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.”

Top: Business Secretary Alok Sharma has said he is going to do something on the loans for SMEs.

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