Britain’s biggest banks must move quickly to support businesses as they face the challenges of the coronavirus outbreak, according to a Lancashire business leader.
Dawn Cheetham, the co-director of Blackpool-based Commercial Kitchen Services (CKS), said the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) needed to be rolled out quickly to protect businesses throughout the ongoing shutdown.
She said there was also a need for the roll-out of the scheme which allows banks to issue government-backed emergency loans to be closely monitored to ensure it was working for firms.
CKS is one of the sponsors of The Be Inspired Business Awards, The BIBAs, the leading Lancashire business awards which has postponed its ceremony until December to allow businesses to focus on their response to the pandemic.
Dawn Cheetham said: “The Government has acted swiftly and decisively to this unprecedented situation and now it is up to everyone to ensure this much-needed funding is getting out there quickly.
“The British Chambers of Commerce has called for weekly meetings with business groups to review the progress of the CBILS and the ability of banks to be flexible to the needs of businesses is crucial.
“Alongside the amazing efforts of NHS workers, carers and those tackling this situation on the frontline, it is the shop workers, delivery drivers, warehouse staff and so many others in businesses up and down the country who are keeping us all safe and healthy.
“Businesses are doing their part and it is up to banks to do theirs to support them through this difficult time.”
The British Chambers of Commerce has written to Britain’s biggest banks to tell them that the decisions being made now would “shape the UK economy for decades to come.”
The BIBAs confirmed last week that it was extending its application window until the end of July to allow firms to apply for its 20 awards categories whilst concentrating on supporting their businesses.
It will host its judging rounds in September and cancelled its second round of judging, The BIBAs, which normally sees judges visit businesses in their own premises.
The awards’ ceremony will now take place in December.
All entries received by The BIBAs are valid and will be considered by the judging panels later in the year, but firms from Lancashire can continue to apply.
For full details, visit the awards’ official website at www.thebibas.co.uk.