City Blinds & Shutters collapses amid coronavirus crisis

City Blinds & Shutters collapses amid coronavirus crisis

Glasgow-based City Blinds & Shutters has closed down due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The store has immediately ceased trading with over 60 employees losing their jobs. 

The firm’s bosses have placed the blame for the closure on the government’s lack of clarity over the measures implemented to save jobs amid the economic fallout of the pandemic.

On March 23, following the latest government advice on social distancing, the company decided to stop visiting people’s homes to measure, sell and fit blinds - meaning they were unable to generate income.

It then closed down its showroom and attempted to put staff on the furlough through the Business Interruption 80% Guarantee Loan Scheme.

However, the firm said its application to Lloyds Banking Group to enroll on the loan scheme was declined.

A statement on the company’s website by director Craig Dunlop reads: “It is with a heart-wrenching regret that after 16 years we have had to cease trading both our businesses from today resulting in the loss of 63 staff’s jobs. City Blinds & Shutters Limited had been trading sustainably well until the coronavirus COVID-19 took its toll on our society.

“Under government advice & pledges to help employers look after its employee’s, we took steps to condition the business to avoid unnecessary job losses and make use of the government’s assistance.

“This loan was declined on 24th March 2020. We felt perhaps that this was down to lack of clarity of the government scheme terms etc, and on appeal the bank agreed to look at it for a second time.”

Mr Dunlop said that after the firm had exported all options to pay staff, they had “no legal alternative but to act responsibly and seek insolvency practitioner advice, and to petition to Glasgow Sheriff Court to appoint the liquidator”.

A spokesperson for Lloyds Banking Group commented: “We cannot comment on individual customers, as our banking relationships with customers is confidential.

“A business failure at any time is always regrettable, and we fully appreciate the impact it has on its employees and the local community. And we understand that it is even more upsetting in the current environment where employees may find it difficult right now to find other jobs.

“To qualify for the Coronavirus Business Interruption Scheme, under the terms set by the British Business Bank, businesses needed to be healthy and viable before the outbreak of COVID-19 to secure support. This is also the same for our normal lending options.”

  • Read all of our articles relating to COVID-19 here.
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