What do businesses think of Sunak’s Covid-19 emergency loan program? | News from the world


TThe Chancellor has reorganized his first efforts in favor of a business loan program to prevent them from going through the worst of the deadlock. Gone are the restrictions that forced small businesses to find collateral to support loans, putting their homes at risk. Large companies, discouraged by requests for commercial loan research, discovered that the new system allowed them to contact lenders for a 12-month interest-free loan with an 80% government guarantee. Rishi Sunak believes that all businesses should be able to benefit from his renewed range of loans, but not everyone is so sure.

Package tour operator

Newmarket Vacations
According to Marc Vincent, chief financial officer of Newmarket Holidays, the company sells 80,000 holidays a year and about a third are sold online. Now he is overwhelmed by customer requests. This means that he cannot put the staff on leave: it all depends on the pumps.

“If tour operators are allowed to go bankrupt, it will be like running a bank, with a long chain of providers also affected,” he said. “And then the government will have to bail out the clients anyway, so it’s better to do it now.” “

Without incoming money and unable to take advantage of the leave scheme – which allows companies to send workers home while the government covers 80% of their wages up to £ 25,000, capped at £ 2,500 per month – the company suffers . Out of 148 employees, only 52 were put on leave.

To take advantage of a VAT holiday until the summer, staff have spent the last week digging through payments, but say the savings are limited.

The regulations that give customers the right to claim their money on package holidays within 14 days of cancellation should be changed, he said. Instead, travel agencies should be allowed to offer credit notes which can be repaid after two years if they are not spent. “Other EU countries do it, and so do we. “


Princess yachts
Princess employs 3,000 people in Plymouth. Last year it posted operating profit of £ 30 million for 2018 on sales of £ 340 million. Today, its £ 600 million order book is frozen. The factory where some of the most spectacular yachts in the world are built is closed and 70% of the staff are at home.

President and CEO Antony Sheriff was disappointed with Sunak’s early efforts in a medium-sized loan program like his when he insisted that they have access to commercial loans – an expensive procedure and heavy. The reforms mean the company will now look at them favorably. “I think he did a good job,” said the sheriff.

The 55-year-old company has cash in the bank and could endure several months of blockage, he says, but worries about the costs of restarting in summer or fall, which could result in expenses. prohibitive for materials. expensive.

“We do everything on our boats, from the hull to the furniture. Everything is happening here. We represent approximately 15,000 jobs in the Plymouth area and ease of resumption of production is essential, ”he said.

Any idea of ​​profits this year has evaporated. “Everyone will look at 2020 and say what a shame, but I hope few people will focus on finance in a year that is pretty much a write-off,” he said.

Newcastle University buildings

The University of Newcastle is concerned about the loss of income for international students. Photography: Washington Imaging / Alamy Stock Photo


Newcastle University
There are officials in the Treasury who see universities as the backbone and the economic engine of many cities in Britain. Huge employers, they are also linked to the local economy through relationships with businesses and state agencies, including the NHS.

Richard Dale, chief financial officer of the University of Newcastle, said he had halted construction to save money and switched to distance work and distance education to keep students on track way. But the university is expected to drop sharply from the £ 90 million a year the university receives foreign students. They represent 17% of the current university population, excluding EU students, who will be considered foreign from next year if a Brexit agreement is reached.

Some employees on fixed-term contracts have had their status suspended, he says, while the university is looking to place them in other roles. But his main concern is to close the likely gap of two to three years before the number of foreign students returns to current levels. “We do not have the resources to continue research with the financial assistance of our donors. We do not receive the total economic cost of research paid other than by a cross-subsidy of the income of foreign students. There has always been an unstable situation that the pandemic is forcing us to face, ”he says.


Fred Olsen
“I spoke to our government funding management team and the travel industry’s passive response, while airlines like Virgin Atlantic said a subsidy was desperately needed,” said Peter Deer, general manager. by Fred Olsen Cruise Lines.

Virgin called on the government to provide the industry with up to £ 7.5 billion in public support. The Chancellor rejected the appeal, saying he would only consider support on a case-by-case basis. Despite this setback, Deer believes that the travel industry should make more noise.

The company, which has annual sales of £ 200-250 million, has four ships moored in the Firth of Forth and a fifth, the Braemar, about to leave Southampton to join them. About 300 of the company’s 500 employees in Ipswich work from home while handling customer inquiries, many of which are on lost bookings. The rest do not work at home.

“We use the leave system, and that’s fine, but there are many other costs we face,” he said, adding that the government should work harder to prevent the industry from shrinking.

“The decline in cruise ship activity has caused a huge shock to our suppliers, the majority of whom are located in the UK. There are 40,000 people in the industry and they are completely ignored. “


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