Coronavirus: Government loans not reaching reaching businesses | Business News

Around one in three British businesses have furloughed at least 75% of their workforce due to the coronavirus crisis, according to a new survey.

The British Chamber of Commerce (BCC) found that two-thirds of businesses it spoke to said they had to put some staff on the furlough scheme, which covers 80% of salaries up to £2,500 a month.

But just 2% of the businesses questioned said they had successfully accessed the government’s Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, and the BCC said many need cash, quickly.

It comes after the chancellor’s announcement in the Downing Street briefing on Tuesday that we are in “tough times” economically and that he “can’t protect every business and every household” throughout the pandemic.

Chancellor says ‘tough times’ are ahead

Speaking to Sky News, the BCC’s Co-Executive Director Hannah Essex said: “If businesses don’t have the money in their accounts they’re going to have to

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HMRC task forces crank up battle against tax evaders

The UK’s tax authority has quietly ratcheted up tackling tax evasion, launching hundreds of task forces in the past decade to target undeclared earnings in industries such as adult entertainment, construction, dog breeding and double-glazing.

The number of task forces within HM Revenue & Customs has ballooned to 209 since May 2011 when the first team was introduced, it revealed in response to a freedom of information request.

HMRC refused to divulge the full list of what the task forces focus on, saying it would affect the department’s future enforcement ability. It has, however, suspended their activities during the coronavirus crisis, describing it as a “sensible and pragmatic response that is in the best interests of the UK”. 

Task forces bring together different HMRC compliance and enforcement teams for intensive bursts of activity focused on both individuals and companies. They target specific sectors and locations where the authority believes there

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Airbnb in advanced talks about new $1 billion loan – sources

FILE PHOTO: Small toy figures are seen in front of diplayed Airbnb logo in this illustration taken March 19, 2020. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo

NEW YORK/BOSTON/SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Airbnb is in advanced talks for a new $1 billion (792 million pounds) loan just days after the U.S. home rental company closed a $1 billion debt deal with private equity firms, people familiar with the matter said on Tuesday.

Airbnb, whose business is suffering as the coronavirus pandemic freezes global travel, is in discussions with investors such as private equity firms Apollo Global Management, Silver Lake, Sixth Street Partners, Oaktree Capital Management and Owl Rock, the sources said.

The terms being discussed are first lien debt, meaning these creditors would be paid first if Airbnb were to default, the sources added. Airbnb is discussing a five-year loan which would have an interest rate of 750 basis points over the Libor benchmark,

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Oil rises on bargain-hunting, hopes for stockpile purchases

TOKYO (Reuters) – Oil prices rose on Wednesday as investors looked for bargains after the previous session’s slump and on hopes that consuming countries will look to fill their strategic reserves, although oversupply fears and warnings of a deep recession capped gains.

FILE PHOTO: The sun is seen behind a crude oil pump jack in the Permian Basin in Loving County, Texas, U.S., November 22, 2019. REUTERS/Angus Mordant/File Photo

Brent futures LCOc1 were up 38 cents, or 1.3%, at $29.98 a barrel as of 0201 GMT, after falling 6.7% on Tuesday.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude CLc1 rose 36 cents, or 1.8%, at $20.47, having crashed 10.3% in the previous session.

Both benchmarks were undercut by worries that a record global output cut by producers would not offset plunging fuel demand due to efforts to contain the coronavirus pandemic.

“Investors unwound short positions, after confirming a rise in U.S. crude

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