The British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) has welcomed the extension of the maximum loan size available through the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) from £50 million to £200 million.

The expanded loans will be available from the 26th May to large firms who do not qualify for the Bank of England’s Covid Corporate Financing Facility or who 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 succesful.

However, while welcoming the expansion of the CIBL scheme, the trade association reiterated 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.

Emma McClarkin

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 among those most affected by the COVID-19 lockdown. It wants it to specifically remove the £51,000 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.

BBPA chief executive, Emma McClarkin (pictured), 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.”

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