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Government's credit insurance top-up scheme extended

The Government has backdated eligibility for its credit insurance scheme to October.

Suppliers who have had their credit limits reduced on fashion retailers can now apply for backdated cover to October 1, 2008. Previously, the top-up scheme was only open to those who had cover withdrawn from April 1 2009.

The scheme, which was introduced in May, allows suppliers to purchase Government-backed insurance to restore cover they have lost or to increase the amount they are able to obtain from the private sector. The closing date for applications to the scheme is December 31.

Business secretary Peter Mandelson, who implemented the scheme, said: “This extension will give more small and medium sized businesses flexibility to respond to a reduction in their credit insurance cover.”

However, retail experts said the Government still needed to go further to support fashion and retail businesses.

Jane Milne, the British Retail Consortium’s business environment director, said: “It should be back dated to last April [2008], when insurers began removing cover as the downturn started to bite.”

Peter Lucas, the chairman of the newly formed UK Fashion Textiles Association [UKFT] and the previous chairman of the British Clothing Industry Association, which is now part of UKFT, wants to hear about suppliers’ experiences of getting access to the government’s credit insurance scheme. Contact him on peter.lucas@ukft.org.

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