Here at the Forum we have criticized Government for taking a one size fits all approach to business, they treat small business like big business only smaller and this causes many problems from poor communication to bad policies and regulations. There are many different levels of small business, sole traders, micro businesses employing a couple of people and small business ranging from corner shops and restaurants to larger manufacturers employing anywhere from 5 to 49 employees and some are world leaders in their field. In the current pandemic many of the larger small businesses are struggling for support and help, they are not eligible for grants and have struggled to access CBIL’s loans from uncooperative banks. While I welcome the move by the Government to look at smaller loans and giving them 100% backing this will not help the larger SME’s. They have been around longer, have proven them selves in the marketplace, with many exporting, they employ more employees, have more premises and warehousing, bigger supply chains and carry more overheads than most, if we lose them we wont get them back and while this may benefit some it will not benefit the economy which will need them to help it kick start things once the lock down is lifted and we try to get back to normal.
We fully support the government in this difficult and very fluid time, but we would welcome a bit more creative thinking in this area, recognize the differences in the variety of small businesses, look at a variety of solutions aimed at as wide a group of SME’s as possible and a good start would be to find out and understand why the current CBIL’s loan scheme is not working as intended and do something about it before tinkering and adding new levels and processes.