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Tuesday newspaper round-up: Local shops, Cameron, BBC, Wework

Tue 23 March 2021 07:36 | A A A

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(Sharecast News) - Small local grocery stores and online retailers are likely to benefit from permanent changes in shopping habits after a year of Covid-19 restrictions, according to a report one year on from the first lockdown. More than nine in 10 of people who have shopped locally say they will continue to do so, a survey by Barclaycard found. Nearly two-thirds of consumers in the UK have chosen to buy closer to home in the past year, leading to a 63% rise in spending at specialist food and drink stores such as butchers, bakeries and greengrocers last month, the debit and credit card operator said. - Guardian

David Cameron has drawn criticism from former ministers but escaped official scrutiny by MPs after the Tory-dominated Treasury select committee declined to launch an inquiry into his efforts to lobby government officials on behalf of Greensill Capital. Parliamentarians have expressed concern over allegations that the former prime minister contacted the chancellor, Rishi Sunak, on his private phone in hopes of securing special access to hundreds of thousands of pounds of emergency Covid loans for the firm, which collapsed this month. - Guardian

BBC boss Tim Davie is pressing ministers for a £150m borrowing boost to help it compete with the financial firepower of Netflix. The broadcaster wants the debt limit enforced on its commercial arm BBC Studios to be increased from £350m to £500m so it can take on the deep-pocketed streaming giants. - Telegraph

Fraud and defaults in the taxpayer-backed bounce back loan scheme may be much lower than expected, according to an analysis of the programme. Equifax, the credit ratings agency, said that levels of application fraud in the scheme appear to be at a fraction of the scale feared by officials, while the financial position of borrowers suggests losses could be more modest than the up to £26 billion predicted by the National Audit Office. - The Times

Wework remains deep in the red after the pandemic crippled its business and drove down demand for commercial office space. The property company has told prospective investors that it lost $3.2 billion last year, according to the Financial Times, as it seeks to raise funds and go public. These losses fell from $3.5 billion the previous year, however, after it drastically cut spending. - The Times

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