Government urged to write off retail’s Covid Bounce Back Loans

Government Covid Omicron high street
The Omicron variant is causiny further uncertainty on the high street.
// The Government is being urged to write off the Bounce Back Loans taken out by smaller retailers during Covid
// The move comes as the Omicron variant creates uncertainty on the high street

The Government is being urged to write off the Bounce Back Loans taken out by smaller bricks and mortar retailers during Covid.

The Government High Streets Task Force expert and founder, Dr Jackie Mulligan made the plea as news of the new Omicron variant creates further uncertainty on the high street.

After speaking with retailers across the country, Mulligan revealed that “most are fraught with worry about another potential lockdown and the impact it would have on their already stretched finances.”

“Even without another lockdown, around one in ten of the businesses we speak to say they may not survive if they have a poor Christmas in terms of sales. The loans they have taken out are crippling many of them and the repayments could decide their fate,” she continued.

READ MORE: Face masks in shops mandatory from Tuesday amid Omicron fears

In light of the additional uncertainty created by the Omicron variant for smaller high street retailers, Mulligan is urging the Government to write off the loans that many of these businesses have taken out.

“Though the reintroduction of masks has not been much of an issue, there is a tangible anxiety on the high street about another national lockdown,” she pointed out.

“The repayments are a huge weight at what is a highly delicate time.”

“We have been using masks and social distancing for some time, so the reintroduction of masks by the Government is not a real issue,” agreed Sherie Potter, founder of Basildon-based clothing boutique Frankie Doodles.

“My worry, and something that is always at the back of my mind, is what happens if there is another lockdown? That would be a disaster.”

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