Claire and Jim Alexander have informed us that a business loan has now come through from the bank. 

The owners have also wanted us to stress they are still trying to get the MP to help them.

Original story

COTSWOLD pub owners are appealing for more support as she fears they could be forced to close until next spring.

And Cotswold MP Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown is supporting them, promising to lobby on their behalf, following the desperate plea.

Claire And Jim Alexander, who run the Ebrington Arms near Chipping Campden and The Killingworth Castle near Blenheim Palace, wrote in a letter to the MP: "I refer to my plea to extend the grant assistance to businesses with a rateable value over 51k (our pubs are £75 and 72k) and also to the problem with our insurance company denying culpability despite our cover for both ‘business interruption’ and ‘contagious disease’ cover.

"This problem appears particularly urgent for Cotswold and other city and tourist destination public houses – the top 10,000 pubs in the country in fact.

"Grants must be prioritised on businesses who have been forced to close during this time. All closed pubs should receive the grant, not just some arbitrarily.

"We are responsible for the wages of 45 families. My husband and I have turned two pubs (one which was closed when we bought it) into thriving businesses but we have no savings because we continue to reinvest every penny into our businesses.

"The situation worsened with announcements all monies paid for services by consumers must be refunded in full.

"This means we are liable for up to £70k to pay back holidaymakers, a figure that could see us with no option but to liquidate our companies.

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"The removal of a years business rates, which is all we qualify for, does not help my business or my customers or my ability to contribute, now.

"I am yet to hear of one pub have a successful claim against their business insurance. This closure happened at the worst possible time, as we were coming out of the winter period.

"We already have two county court actions against us by customers who want immediate repayment.

"Now is not the time to let the country’s best independent pubs fall through a gap and be lost to our country.

"What is the Cotswolds and indeed the whole country without its pubs? And where we all want to go when this is over?"

Speaking to the Journal, Mrs Alexander added that the grants system was not working when money was given to businesses that remained open and trading well, when closed ones weren't able to get a grant.

In response to the letter Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown MP said: "I have raised this again with the Chancellor and also the Parliamentary Private Secretary for the Treasury, James Cartlidge MP, requesting an urgent response to the matter you have raised.

"Many of the issues I have raised with the Chancellor have now been dealt with, such as the fund is aimed at small businesses with ongoing fixed property-related costs, so I will keep lobbying on the matters you have written about.

"I will continue to raise this until I receive a full response or your asks are implemented."

Earlier this week the government announced pubs were among those businesses that may be able to open, as long as meeting social distancing measures.

The government said though this was dependant on if the five tests to ease restrictions were met, and on what the rate of Covid-19 infection was at that point.