Mother fears for future of seaside business as she struggles to get financial support
- Credit: Archant
A Suffolk single mother fears for the future of her business which she believes Government aid is allowing to “fall through the cracks”.
Susie Medland has been running Munchies café and restaurant in Aldeburgh since 2002.
She currently has ten employees furloughed and is delivering takeaway meals on her own whilst also looking after her young son.
“I am really struggling,” said Mrs Medland.
Mrs Medland said that she felt her business was slipping through the gaps and was unable to access some of the Government financial help on offer, through banks.
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“I cannot get bounce back loans,” said Mrs Medland.
“I have been refused by all of them. Even though I have been open for 20 years.”
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Mrs Medland’s own bank does not offer the Government scheme and while she has tried to open business accounts elsewhere to access the vital funds, she’s been refused without response.
Despite her own struggles Mrs Medland is continuing to help her elderly, vulnerable customers by delivering food.
She said that when she closed in March she made a promise to her regulars to continue to help them wherever she could.
“They have supported me for 20 years so it’s my chance to support them,” said Mrs Medland.
“I am doing this from home on my own.”
The situation has left her unsure what to do next and unsure what the future holds for her business.
“The support from the community is enormous but that is not supported by the banks,” said Mrs Medland.
One of the banks Mrs Medland tried to get an account with was Starling Bank.
Although unable to comment on individual cases, it said that more generally it didn’t offer business accounts to those with a poor credit record, or businesses with a high level of borrowing.
“We believe that it’s not responsible to offer a loan to self-employed individuals when there is a high likelihood of them being unable to repay,” said a spokesman for the bank.
“With BBLS, even though we, as a bank, should eventually get the money back from the government guarantee in the event of a default, the borrower is not similarly protected and will have a default registered on their credit file if they’re unable to repay.”
Mrs Medland categorically denies that this is the reason she would have been denied an account an says she is debt free.
A HM Treasury spokesman said: “Our Bounce Back Loans are helping small firms get finance quickly.
“464,393 loans worth £14.18 billion have been approved so far, and lenders are working hard to process and approve all applications as quickly as possible.
“All lenders are welcome to apply to the scheme, and we are working closely with the banks to ensure firms get the finance they need.”