The Government is set to announce measures to extend its Covid-19 financial support package to include more businesses facing imminent failure from Covid-19.
As there is now just under a week until their much applauded furlough scheme begins to be cut back, currently supporting circa 9 million people, alternatives are essential to avoid mass unemployment at levels unseen in modern times.
A spokesperson at the Treasury announced that changes in EU state aid rules will enable businesses previously unable to access the coronavirus business interruption loan scheme with access to government funds. John Glen, economic secretary to the Treasury will write to major lenders and advise them of the changes.
And here lies the problem. Government financial aid schemes to businesses driven by Rishi Sunak have been well intentioned and necessary to avoid financial collapse. Without what has been done to date countless hospitality businesses would be no more. So, we applaud Government’s action.
Unfortunately, the delivery of the action is dependent on banks, and banks can support the Government’s policy or not as they choose. Since the emergence of the Covid-19 crisis, some banks have been excellent in supporting Government policy, and others have been woeful.
The lifeline provided by Government would be so much more effective if closer collaborative working were established with banks that still serve their own purposes ahead of the Government’s, and ours.