Business leaders highlight need for cashflow support

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Louise Bennett, chief executive of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce

BUSINESS leaders in Coventry and Warwickshire have welcomed the latest support to firms announced by the government – and say it is time to ramp up the levels of cash getting through to companies across the patch.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced that the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme is being extended to cover more firms to try to get more money into the accounts of businesses and ease cashflow concerns.

Among the changes are that lenders are no longer allowed to request personal guarantees on loans under £250,000 while the new Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS) is designed to see more firms able to benefit from government-backed support.

It will also provide a government guarantee of 80 per cent to enable banks to make loans of up to £25 million to firms with an annual turnover of between £45 million and £500 million.

Chief executive of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, Louise Bennett, said: “When we are speaking to businesses in our region on a daily basis, cashflow is their number one concern and that was highlighted in the British Chambers of Commerce’s first Coronavirus Business Impact Tracker Poll this week.

“It’s vitally important that the levels of cash going out to businesses is now ramped up over the coming days and weeks in order to help get companies through these unprecedented times.

“We’re speaking to banks in our area and to the local authorities and we know they are all working incredibly hard in incredibly difficult circumstances to deliver on the financial support for firms.

“And we continue to identify where there are gaps in the support on offer and are passing those through to government.”

She added: “We are constantly updating the information we are distributing to businesses and small firms can now find all of the details on whether they are eligible for a Small Business Grant or a Leisure, Tourism and Retail Grant through our Coronavirus Toolkit. It also gives them details of where to register.

“It’s vitally important that companies do keep up-to-date with what is on offer and we are working hard to keep businesses fully informed and are in daily contact with companies across the region.”

For more information, contact the Chamber on 024 7665 4321.