The founder and chairman of Hunters, who is also a Conservative MP, has been criticised for a tweet saying he would want his firm to take funding from the bail-out schemes run by the government during the virus crisis.
Kevin Hollinrake, who represents Thirsk and Malton, tweeted yesterday about the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan which his government announced at the end of last week. He wrote:“No personal guarantees, no fees, 0 per cent interest for 12m, up to £5m. Our business will certainly use this.”
However the Whitby Gazette, which serves part of his constituency, says Hollinrake has been criticised by an independent local councillor who said she was appalled that his company was benefitting from the scheme when so many in the area were - she claimed - not receiving the help they need.
Councillor Michelle Donohue-Moncrieff is quoted by the paper as saying: ”My main concern is lots of people who live in Hummanby and Filey are self-employed or are on zero-hours contracts because they do seasonal work. They're not getting enough support. He's a millionaire, he doesn't need any help.”
She accused Hollinrake of not appreciating the situation many of his constituents find themselves in during the current crisis.
The paper says: “Mr Hollinrake argued that he does recognise that people who are self-employed and in the gig economy are in need of more help, and has spoken in Parliament and written to the Chancellor to call for more assistance. At the same time, he said, the loans would help many businesses keep going and their employees in work.”
Hollinrake is also reported to have told the paper that he has in the past used his own money to fund his business and would not rule out doing it again.