We have all seen the repugnant way that most banks that are approved by the British Business Bank as accredited Bounce Back Loan lenders are taking part in their collective, sordid little “cancel culture” over the last few months.
Some of those lenders have decided those applying for a simple business account are not worthy of having one, based purely on the market sector they operate in, and some have given a lot of small business owners a business account, only for them to close them down at a later date.
I know many bankers will be sat there right now claiming I am talking nonsense, pray tell then why out of 29 BBL lenders only one of them is accepting new customers (another one has a weird and wonderful invoice facility and does accept new customers – Skipton).
That simple action of not offering SME’s an account, slamming the door to others, deciding some business owners are not worthy of having an account, even snatching back BBL’s at a later date, telling some who have applied for a Bounce Back Loan to wait, when undertrained staff do not have access to BBL information, and some told to wait have later discovered due to system errors their application was never received in the first place so have been waiting for something that will never come, are all part of the shenanigans that many of them have been guilty of.
The Government did tell all BBL lenders they should open up their new account systems to customers as quickly as possible, they have all stuck two fingers up to that idea.
Merriam-Webster, discussing the term’s history, notes that cancel, as used in the term means “to stop giving support to that person”. Those banks are all guilty of that no matter how much they bleat.
Now it appears that many councils across the UK are joining the banks too, and by that, I mean the vile way many of them are deeming business rate payers a much higher class of person than business owners who do not pay business rates.
Rishi Sunak, as you will know, has been making business grants available, and many of you who have applied have been told in no uncertain terms if you do not pay business rates you are not eligible for them by many councils.
The other day he did however announce more funding for grants, and said this:
A further £594 million is also being made available for Local Authorities and the Devolved Administrations to support other businesses not eligible for the grants, that might be affected by the restrictions. Businesses should apply to their Local Authorities.
That means there is now cash available to business owners that do not pay business rates, and he has told councils those Discretionary Grants, are to be handed out at their discretion hence their name.
Anyone that has tried to deal with some councils in the past will know some of them are a knife, fork, and a couple of spoons short of a cutlery set.
If you do not pay business rates and your business is suffering due to Covid and lockdown then there is cash available and you need to claim it. Do not let your local council get away with their form of cancel culture by refusing you a share of that cash.
They do refuse many people claiming those grants in several dodgy ways by the way, I urge you to set about applying for a Discretionary Business Grant today and let me know if the application form denies you a grant at any point, seen that happen way too many times already.
Phone them up and ask if you qualify for one of those grants, and see what their staff say, if they say you do not qualify for any unfair reason challenge that decision, badger your local MP, and see what they have to say on the matter.
I am getting a mix of feedback, some councils that originally were declining Discretionary Grants are now rethinking their approach and are now allowing those they originally refused a grant to, some are saying they need more time to “review the rules”, some are sticking to their guns and refusing to play fair and some have no problem letting all SME’s apply for them even if they do not pay business rates.
This is what Rishi said when asked by an MP the other day:
Quite simple to understand for any hard of thinking council member to understand me thinks.
So, stop titting about, get the grant application systems live or fixed and start firing out that money. Rishi has said every council/local authority will have the money by Friday, so they do not have any excuses not to start paying out tomorrow.
The way some banks and councils are refusing to help some people is, it could be said, comparable to Racism/Sexism/Ageism/Homophobia and is morally repugnant and needs stamping out