THE SNP have renewed calls for the UK Government to ensure businesses have immediate access to finance – after research published by the BBC suggested one-fifth of small and medium-sized businesses are unlikely to get the cash they need to survive the next four weeks.

Shadow chancellor Alison Thewliss MP said it was crucial that businesses can access funds in time. She called for Chancellor Rishi Sunak to set out urgently how the UK Government will respond to concerns and ensure funding is delivered.

The research, which suggests up to one million businesses could be forced to close, matches the concerns that have been raised with SNP MPs.

Businesses have warned they will struggle to maintain the cash flow they need to meet costs and keep their businesses afloat due to barriers and delays in accessing the UK government’s schemes.

Thewliss said: “It is absolutely crucial that businesses across Scotland and the UK can access the finance they need now to pay their costs and stay afloat. This is an issue we have been raising for weeks. Thousands of small and medium-sized businesses are facing unacceptable barriers and delays, which could force them to close if these are not resolved urgently.

“The Chancellor must outline how the UK Government will respond to ensure firms get the cash they need. We cannot allow good businesses to go to the wall because support isn’t provided in time – that would be a disaster for the businesses, their staff and the wider economy.

“It is also important that the right financial support is available, with more grants as well as loans, to reflect the fact businesses are losing income, not just seeing it deferred.

“People need jobs and businesses to go back to after this crisis. If we want to ensure the economy can get back up and running and prevent mass unemployment, the UK Government and banks must act now. We cannot afford further delays.”

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