Next week’s launch of “Bounce Back Loans” could throw a lifeline to many thousands of small businesses, who will be able to borrow up to £50,000 with a 100 per cent government guarantee.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has bowed to pressure to do more for small and micro businesses, promising a 12-month interest-free period and a rapid decision-making process for businesses across Britain that are battling to survive the cash crunch caused by coronavirus.

More than half of owner-managed businesses could run out of cash within the next 12 weeks, according to research by an accountancy network, and more than seven in 10 have lost at least half their revenue since the coronavirus disruption began.

Live Q&A

Claer Barrett, the FT’s personal finance editor, and Andy Bounds, the FT’s enterprise editor, have now logged off. You can watch the live Q&A within this story, or on the FT’s YouTube channel.

However, many smaller businesses are wary of taking on more debt when the future remains so uncertain.

In this week’s live business clinic, the Financial Times wants to hear from small business owners battling to find a way through the crisis. What do you think of the “Bounce Back” loans? How easy or difficult are you finding it to access credit from your bank? What more do you think the finance industry needs to do better to support SMEs?

Perhaps you are worried about how you would repay an emergency loan if the economy takes a long time to recover, or the level of interest your business will be charged after the 12-month grace period expires.

Claer Barrett, the FT’s personal finance editor, and Andy Bounds, the FT’s enterprise editor, will take part in a live video Q&A with readers at 12 noon UK time on Tuesday April 28.

To ask a question, or relay your experiences of accessing support from your bank or government support schemes, please leave a comment below.

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