Search

Government’s business loan plan ‘illogical’ claims frustrated business owner

PUBLISHED: 08:48 18 March 2020 | UPDATED: 08:49 18 March 2020

Co-owners Rebecca Bishop and Steve Magnall outside Two Magpies bakery in Darsham   Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Co-owners Rebecca Bishop and Steve Magnall outside Two Magpies bakery in Darsham Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Archant

The owner of a bakery chain who fears it is “going down the pan” because of government policy has launched a fierce attack on its £330bn loan injection into UK business to prop it up during the coronavirus crisis.

Steve Magnall, co-owner of the Two Magpies, which runs four bakery-cafés across Norfolk and Suffolk, said chancellor Rishi Sunak’s measures to help businesses through the crisis would simply leave them with unsustainable levels of debt.

“The chancellor’s latest announcement does not support business at all. Why does a loan with small interest rates help? They don’t seem to understand small businesses and their needs at all,” he said.

MORE – ‘PM’s comments to avoid businesses like ours is appalling’ – bakery café chain owner hits out at Boris Johnson advice

“France has basically written off 300bn euros in support for businesses, while our government just isn’t going far enough to help small businesses who won’t survive this without proper aid.

“Quite simply, our cash flow is very tight, so offering a low interest loan gets us through at present, but if it lasts for months, we will owe the government hundreds of thousands of pounds.

You may also want to watch:

“Our wage bill last month was £100,000. Today’s takings were down 30% and dropping. We have grown every year consistently for seven years and one statement from the prime minister yesterday and our business is going down the pan.”

He and wife Rebecca had put all their money into the business and could not afford to take on debt, he said.

The government should be supporting the employees by taking their wages on, stopping all tax collection, stopping mortgages for all until the crisis and supporting those that rent properties until the crisis is over, he said.

Instead it was offering loans which are 80% underwritten by the government.

“Why would I take a loan out when they have forced people out of our cafes and insurers won’t pay out because of clauses.

“It’s illogical and shows a lack of understanding of small business, which the Tories claim to know.”

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years, through good times and bad. Coronavirus is one of the greatest challenges our community has ever faced, but if we all play our part we will defeat it. We're here to serve as your advocate and trusted source of local information.

In these testing times, your support is more important than ever. Thank you.



Most Read

Most Read

Latest from the East Anglian Daily Times