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Grimsey’s review calls for a UK small business loan amnesty

Bill Grimsey, a retail expert and former boss of Focus DIY in Wicks, Iceland, said 1.7 billion small shopkeepers in the country in their latest review report on the future of British town centres and high streets. He warned that he was struggling under a pile of pound debt and demanded a government amnesty to cancel such loans for viable SMEs.

Unless government intervenes, Britain could face a “tsunami” of store closures this fall, he said. According to reviews, independent High Street companies are now four times more in debt than they were a year ago. Approximately 17,500 chain stores that closed in 2020.

“The French government is already working on policies to prevent SMEs from being overwhelmed by debt, and we need to do the same to save thousands,” Grimsey said.

Two years ago, the British government announced that Mary Portas would lead an independent review for the future of High Street. The purpose was to come up with suggestions to governments, local governments and businesses to take action to save High Street.

Released this year, the Grimsey Review is an alternative review available to all political parties to shape policies and action plans that make a difference when implemented.

Grimsey said the small store had survived the pandemic by borrowing, but is now facing repayment challenges, according to British media reports.

“But they were also forced to take on government-sponsored loans. They wouldn’t normally get it because their balance sheet wouldn’t allow it. Now they’re in debt I’m having a hard time managing the mountains and need help, “he said.

One of the bright spots is the rise of the fast-growing hair and beauty sector. But there were challenges here as well, Grimsey said, noting that the sector is less regulated compared to other European countries.

Working conditions have also become more volatile, he added, that 63% of people working in beauty salons are now self-employed.

“The UK is at a crossroads and the pandemic has brought about a radical change that will bring a decisive break with traditional high-street models,” he warned.

Fiber2Fashion News Desk (DS)

Bill Grimsey, a retail expert and former boss of Focus DIY in Wicks, Iceland, said 1.7 billion small shopkeepers in the country in their latest review report on the future of British town centres and high streets. He warned that he was struggling under a pile of pound debt and demanded a government amnesty to cancel such loans for viable SMEs.



Grimsey’s review calls for a UK small business loan amnesty

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