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60% of firms have less than ‘three months of cash’ reserves

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The coronavirus lockdown has affected tens of thousands of businesses and millions are out of work and more than 6m workers face unemployment.

Despite the government CBIL bail out scheme many companies have been refused with many facing uncertainty as they are still waiting to hear about their applications.

Adam Marshall, director general at the British Chamber of Commerce (BCC), told Sophy Ridge Sky News programme, “We’ve found that about 60% of companies have less than three months’ cash in reserve.

“Many who have seen their revenues fall off a cliff over the past month or so, and many of them are taking some really big life or death decisions as businesses.

“So, the support getting to the front line over the next few days is going to be absolutely critical.”

Marshall said things must become “faster and simpler,” adding, “Right now it is taking too long for a lot of the support to reach the frontline.

“When you’ve got 30,000 applications for loans and 300,000 expressions of interest, 6,000 isn’t an adequate figure and we’ve really got to see the banks and the government working together to speed up the process so that as many businesses as possible can get access to those loans.

“And the same holds true for local councils as well.

“They’ve got £12bn in grant payments to distribute to some of the hardest-hit businesses out there, but from the latest figures that we’ve seen only about a third of companies have actually received the money.

“So, all efforts right now really have to be focused on getting cash to the front line, because there are so many businesses that are counting the time they’ve got left in hours and days.

“They don’t have weeks or months to wait for those government support schemes to begin working.”




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