UK Business Spotlight 19th October

Business Spotlight 19th Oct 2020

As part of our ongoing mission to support UK businesses with innovation and funding, our business spotlight section contains news and resources which your company may find useful.

UK Banks Cripple Start-Ups by Freezing Applications for New Business Bank Accounts

A current crisis has formed as a result of high street banks refusing to open business accounts for new businesses. Banks, such as Lloyds, HSBC, Santander, and Natwest, are stifling new business accounts to focus on giving current businesses the COVID-19 loans as part of the government Bounce Back Scheme

Some banks are delaying new business accounts for weeks, some are only accepting existing customers, while some (Lloyds, HSBC, and Santander) are refusing to open new business accounts completely. 

In an unemployment crisis, promoting entrepreneurship should be high on the nation’s agenda. However, new business owners are being left on their own with no support. Without a business bank account, starting up a business is extremely difficult. It prevents the ability to process cash flow, run the books through software, and take card payments.

This comes off the back of previous criticism of the banks’ inability to efficiently handle the Bounce Back loans. The Bounce Back Scheme was launched by the government back in April, yet responses have been far from good. 

City AM, spoke to a number of restaurant owners about their experience with the Bounce Back loan. Gianfilippo Mattioli, owner of Bottega Prelibato in Shoreditch, has been waiting six months for his loan and is yet to receive it. 

Therefore, banks have made the decision to focus on the Bounce Back scheme over opening new business accounts. 

It is clear that both hold importance, but many believe that the two shouldn’t be mutually exclusive. Mike Cherry, the National Chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses, explains how crucial start-ups were to help the 2009 recession. 

We appreciate banks were swamped with bounce-back applications, but refusing to open business accounts for new customers will stifle start-ups just at the moment we need them most.’

Government Culture Recovery Grant is Helping the Creative Sector Back on its Feet

There is hope for the creative sector in the UK as the government launches a £1.57 billion culture recovery fund.

Distributed by Arts Council England, the funding will help thousands of music venues, museums, theatres, and other cultural organisations survive the current economic set back. 

By the 19th of October, the number of arts organisations awarded the funding were almost at 2,000, and have been continuing to rise. So far, these organisations have benefitted from over £300 million of this Culture Recovery fund.  

“This is a difficult time for us all, but this first round of funding from the culture recovery fund will help sustain hundreds of cultural spaces and organisations that are loved and admired by local communities and international audiences,” said the chair of Arts Council England, Sir Nicholas Serota.

This funding is benefitting a huge variety of artistic organisations and spaces. Some benefactors include the Military Wives Choirs, nightclubs such as Motion, Warehouse Project, and Ministry of Sound, The National Centre for Circus Arts, and The Comedy Store.  

London Symphony Orchestra (LSO) is set to receive £846,000 in funding from the government. Sir Simon Rattle OM, CBE, music director at LSO, said

“We have refused to let live music be silenced, but it cannot survive on energy and optimism alone. Today’s announcement is incredibly important for orchestras and the whole live music sector, threatened with devastation by the effects of the pandemic. We need, and are grateful for, this support as we take our first steps in public performance once more, enabling us to show the full power of our creative community.”

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