On 31st March we worked with Andy Verity, Economics Correspondent for the BBC, on the story that the CBILS loan scheme wasn’t working and we shared our research that 18% of businesses (800,000) were probably, or definitely, going to run out of cash in the next few weeks.  Andy first discussed the story on Tuesday 1st April in the morning on the Radio 4 Today Programme, on Radio 5 Live and then it was featured on the BBC One Breakfast Show onwards.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-52114414#

Ten of our accountancy member firms contributed to this data and our thanks go to them for shining a light on this critical situation.

This was then covered by virtually every national broadsheet, tabloid and regional or local press in stories throughout the day and continued to roll on BBC News Channel from 6am to 10pm, including every bulletin.

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2020/apr/01/almost-a-fifth-of-small-businesses-at-risk-of-collapse-within-month-coronavirus

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/coronavirus-small-businesses-collapse-bust-research-a9440771.html

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8174967/Nearly-FIFTH-UK-firms-shut-four-weeks.html

https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/million-businesses-weeks-collapse-amid-21792710

https://www.business-live.co.uk/opinion-analysis/this-crisis-reveals-deep-entrenched-18015510

And into the weekend and for weeks afterwards it is still being referenced by press and bloggers across the world:

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/the-times-view-on-support-for-small-businesses-commercial-collapse-p0tfzff97

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/start-ups-going-to-the-wall-as-rishi-sunak-stumbles-over-coronavirus-rescue-b0pnwzn90

https://wolfstreet.com/2020/04/14/something-has-gone-wrong-uk-government-banks-screw-up-coronavirus-loans-small-firms-on-near-collapse-mixed-results-in-other-countries/

Our drive was not to publicise bad news, at The CFN we have other suggested solutions to assist the SME Economy through this crisis and are reaching out to The Chancellor and The Treasury to consider them.

Thankfully, the Government listened and changes were made to relax the restrictions and operational delays in rolling out the CBILS

https://uk.finance.yahoo.com/news/coronavirus-covid-19-business-interruption-loan-scheme-cbils-rishi-sunak-banks-094938332.html

Our fight for SMEs is not over though as we are still calling for other, alternative solutions as PA has picked up here:

https://www.expressandstar.com/news/uk-news/2020/04/02/emergency-loans-overhaul-set-to-ban-onerous-terms-and-improve-access-for-smes/

and here: https://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/business/stable-businesses-must-be-encouraged-buy-failing-enterprises-says-business-woman-2530582

We continue to try and pass these alternative solutions to Treasury in order to protect SME businesses and their 23m employees.

An updated report with latest research was published on 7th April 2020 and also received further press coverage.

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