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Lunya founder calls for debt enforcement moratorium to include lenders

23 June 2020 by
Lunya founder calls for debt enforcement moratorium to include lenders

Lunya founder Peter Kinsella has penned a second letter to the prime minister Boris Johnson calling for the debt enforcement moratorium to include lenders.

Kinsella's first heartfelt letter to the prime minister went viral earlier this year after he publicly shared his story of the emotional burden and strain that the coronavirus is wreaking on hospitality operators' personal and family lives.

In his latest letter, although he said he has "generally been really well supported" by lenders and benefitted from payment holidays from most, the business has no protection from any of them activating personal guarantees, which could force his businesses to close and make him and his wife homeless.

"I can't begin to tell you how terrified that makes us feel, heart in the mouth, sick in the stomach terrified," he wrote.

He said that one lender has "aggressively pursued us for payments… have started recovery proceedings, pursuing personal guarantees," as well as added interest charges and fines.

He added: "This could see our company forced into administration, we lose our house and the government having to bail out the bank for the CBILS loan… We desperately need a debt enforcement moratorium to include lenders. If we went under, it is in no one's interests."

Kinsella and his wife Elaine, who run a small collection of Spanish restaurants, bars and delis in Liverpool, announced earlier this month they would be closing their Manchester site as they had been unsuccessful in securing additional funding to keep it open.

Kinsella added: "I can't begin to tell you how sad that made us feel and the sense of failure we feel, letting down our customers and staff. Thirty-one of our staff are soon to be unemployed. They are people we know, care about deeply and consider our friends. We've cried a lot over this, making that decision, communicating it and now living with it. We know the reality is that many of them will struggle to find other jobs."

The letter also calls for support to implement the National Time Out Initiative for rent, reduction in VAT and the extension of non-contributory furlough.

Lunya owners announces Manchester site will not reopen but ‘Manchester hasn't seen the last of us' >>

'It's OK to cry' – restaurant and deli operator reveals emotional pressures of being forced to close sites >>

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