Help us help SMEs get the promised funding from our banks

I hope you are well and managing to ride this storm. I’m finding some solace in my avid reading of an account of Shackleton’s Endurance saga which does a great job of giving some perspective in these strange and challenging times… Never before has two years in the Antarctic with rotten sleeping bags seemed a viable alternative to our first world lives!

The economic disaster that the UK is facing is however most urgent and could cause great suffering to many businesses and the people whom they employ, much of this hardship, I believe could be avoided by urgent and promised action by the banks.

I am reaching out to you to see if you would be willing to help with my campaign to push the government and treasury into action and to force them to fulfil their promises of help for small and medium-sized businesses. I have already written to my MP and have received a response. If as many people as possible write to their local MP highlighting their plight and the plight of their clients then it might just push them and the banks to urgent and much needed action.

Please find below the text of my letter that you are very welcome to repurpose. I would appreciate it if the information contained within was treated with anonymity.

Please do help, our MPs are there for this very reason, to be the voice of their constituents and to hold the government to account.

Thank you in advance for your support in this, in solidarity,

Herewith the text of my letter to my MP Sir David Amess who has written to the treasury on this matter.

Sir David

 I write to you in respect of the government’s CBIL Loan scheme and the slowness with which our bank and other banks are responding to our requirement for help during this corona virus crisis.

 I am hoping that you might assist in putting further pressure on the government to ensure that the promises made by The Chancellor with respect to CBIL Loans to small and medium-sized business would be provided and that the government would “Do whatever it takes” to help businesses through this period.

 We have recently put an application for a sizable loan to our bank – Natwest. The communication with our account director has been excellent and he has been available via telephone and email consistently. However, when it comes to him being able tell us when the bank’s credit department will process our application, he has no answer, he is unable to give us any positive response. It is my understanding that the ‘back end’ function at the bank; the systems that will allow these loans to flow is yet even to be in operation at a scale necessary to save businesses from ruin.

This delay to cash funding and delay on decision-making at the banks is causing us significant problems in planning, the ability to pay our suppliers on time, not to mention stress levels amongst staff and managers that are faced with uncertainty. We have only weeks before we will run out of cash and will have to close. We risk letting some suppliers down on payments thus affecting our reputation and risking lack of supply in the future. We are unable to make informed decisions on treatment of staff with respect to furlough or layoff. 

We are only one of thousands of businesses in the same predicament – all because the banks are not moving quickly enough.

We implore the government to instruct the banks to do what has been asked of them and that is to make cash available immediately to businesses - at the most favourable rates and with conditions appropriate to the times to ensure that our economy is no more affected by this terrible virus than absolutely necessary. 

Yours sincerely.

 James Jones

Managing Director - Vimpex Limited, Board Member - Fire Industry Association