The British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA), the leading trade association representing Britain’s brewers and pubs, has today welcomed the extension of the maximum loan size available through the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme from £50m to £200m.
The expanded loans will be available from 26 May to large firms who do not qualify for the Bank of England’s Covid Corporate Financing Facility (CCFF) or have enough finance to meet cashflow needs during lockdown.
The decision comes after the BBPA campaigned for the Government to expand access to finance, following a survey of its members which found that only 25% of pub operators and brewers had received confirmation that their application for a loan had been successful.
However, whilst welcoming the expansion of the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, the trade association re-iterated that far greater access to financial support is still needed for smaller pub businesses and individual operators.
In a survey of its members, the BBPA found that only 11% of applications made by individual pub lesses and tenants for a Government backed loan had been successful.
The trade association is therefore continuing to press the Government to speed up the delivery of finance to smaller pub businesses and individual publicans. It is also continuing to campaign for the Government to provide additional support to Britain’s pubs and brewers who are amongst those most affected by the COVID-19 lockdown.
Specifically by removing the £51k rateable value cap on grant eligibility to open funds up to 10,000 more pubs, as well as giving further support to brewers of all sizes through beer duty relief.
Emma McClarkin, BBPA's Chief Executive, said, “We welcome the expansion of loans for large businesses from £50 million to £200 million. We hope it will help those larger businesses in the beer and pub industry who haven’t been able to get access to finance as readily as hoped during this crisis so far.
“Issues still clearly remain though with the speed of delivery of support for pub and brewing businesses of all sizes. It is clear these loans, as well as other Government support such as grants, need to be delivered much more quickly and expanded to more pub and brewing businesses to help get them through this period.
“The UK’s 47,000 pubs urgently need more support and for it to arrive quickly. The Government must deliver it now.”