Coronavirus: IOD urges UK to help those left out of bailout schemes

Institute Of Directors (IoD) Restaurant on Pall Mall street in central part of the city. Photo: Getty
Institute Of Directors (IoD) Restaurant on Pall Mall street in central part of the city. Photo: Getty

The Institute of Directors (IOD) said a fifth of its members have received no help from the UK’s bailout schemes and urged the government to support them.

In a letter to business secretary Alok Sharma, IOD chief Jonathan Geldart said the economy had “been kept on life support” via these schemes but companies need more help if they are to to restart operations, the FT reported.

He said more than half of IOD’s members expect the debt they have been forced to take on during the pandemic to hinder recovery plans, and wants the government to consider expanding a £617m ($761.92m) discretionary grant fund set up to help businesses.

This was an additional 5% uplift to the £12.33bn funding announced for the Small Business Grants Fund and the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grants Fund.

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The UK government has mounted one of the most aggressive economic responses to the COVID-19 pandemic in the world, pledging billions of pounds to support businesses through the crisis. 

This includes the coronavirus business interruption loan scheme where companies can borrow up to £5m, as well as Bounce Back loans, through which some 700,000 businesses have borrowed £21.3bn.

But some have been unable to obtain loans because of ineligibility.

Geldart said those those who have been missed out so far need to be given priority along with a cash injection “to bolster firms operating under ongoing restrictions.”