National based reward and recognition scheme, My VIP Card, has published a new survey highlighting that the full impact of the pandemic has yet to hit thousands of independent businesses who had to take on additional financial support, including government bounce back loans, just to survive. As ‘freedom day’ goes ahead and life returns to the ‘normal’ for many owners the struggles have just begun as these debts are now due but their businesses are yet to recover, and they don’t have the income to start paying them off.
Kate Hayward, owner of South-Central Makers said, “We got a bounce back loan which I have to start paying back in October, it was a no choice thing in order to stay afloat. It will be a struggle to pay back, but there is nothing I can do about it.”
Another business owner, who chose to remain anonymous, explained the dire situation they are in since taking out the government loan. “We got the Bounce back loan. We haven’t recovered at all yet because our business needs other businesses to recover first and most of them haven’t. We’re having no choice but to liquidate, something we never even contemplated would need to happen a year later.”
Maddy Alexander-Grout, Founder of My VIP Card, added, “We are urging all our members to support their local community and the independent businesses at the heart of it. So many businesses need our help now as the damage from the pandemic has only just begun and the billions in debts need to be paid off.
I have personally spoken to hundreds of local business owners and so many have told me they haven’t seen the impact of the economic recovery as shoppers are still reluctant to return to the high street.”
My VIP Card is the largest National based reward and recognition scheme in the UK now offers discounts across 5,000 high street and local shops, cinemas, restaurants, supermarkets, theme parks, gyms and other outlets helping UK shoppers save on average £1000 a year. The team are continually adding new offers to the scheme and has recently added cashback on vouchers for major retailers including Sainsburys, Tesco, Apple, Amazon and John Lewis.