How Government loans are keeping London businesses afloat

With an unprecedented package of support, SMEs are weathering the coronavirus storm and looking to the future. Meet Rowena from Romulos Cafe & Restaurant raising a glass to the financial help her business has received…

“The various Government packages to support small businesses like ours have allowed us to keep the lights on. Right now I am just grateful for whatever support we can get,”

As well as the furlough Job Retention Scheme, Rowena received a Small Business Rates Relief grant in early April which was paid just a few days later. “I was surprised how easy it was. It allowed us to gear up for our new delivery and takeaway offering quickly,” she says.

Romulo then applied for the Government’s Bounce Back Loans Scheme. She spoke to her bank on 4 May when the scheme became available and filled in a short online questionnaire. The funds were then credited the next day.

These Government grants have allowed her business to retain its loyal staff and provided financial relief, including a 12-month holiday on business rates.

Crucially, Government help provided an injection of cash flow that allowed Romulo to reopen on 1 May with an enhanced delivery service.

Overwhelmed with messages from customers all around London, Romulo has now extended its delivery area and taken on additional drivers.

“We want to build on the welcome fiscal support and keep hospitality in London alive, whatever it may look like in the future,” Rowena says.

Click here to read the full article in the Evening Standard.