Retailers face ‘ticking time bomb’ on government’s coronavirus loans

Houses of Parliament

Retailers without high credit ratings have warned the government they face “a ticking time bomb” if they are not given access to its coronavirus support loans.

Businesses that employ tens of thousands of staff and operate hundreds of shops across the UK have told Retail Week they fear being left “stuck in the middle” of the government’s support packages without access to vital funding that could prevent their companies going bust.

Executives from several retailers have warned it could spark “a bloodbath” on Britain’s high streets if chancellor Rishi Sunak does not rethink the loans, worth a total of £330bn, that are being made available to businesses.

Retailers with lower credit ratings fall between the cracks of the government’s financial help packages, which were unveiled by Sunak on Monday.

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