Tindle Newspapers, which publishes the Farnham Herald, has offered interest-free loans to farmers and business affected by the recent foot and mouth outbreak in Surrey.
Concerned that a number of its paper’s readers could be left close to financial ruin as a result of the crisis, the company has offered loans to help prevent them going out of business.
It made a similar pledge after the foot and mouth outbreak of 2001.
Although the Government does offer compensation, payment often takes time to process. Tindle Newspapers is offering immediate loans to stem the after-affects of the disease.
After the 2001 foot and mouth outbreak – which, according to some estimates, cost the country about £8bn – Tindle Newspapers became aware that many of its readers, in particular in the West Country and Wales, were in desperate circumstances.
The company made £250,0000 available to suffering farmers and local businesses, 50 of which took up the offer.
Proprietor Sir Ray Tindle said: ‘Some small farmers were unable to move their livestock or to sell it, so they had no income, but still had to feed the animals, pay wages and other living essentials, such as rent.
‘Other businesses, such as transport, small hotels and a zoo in Cornwall, had no work, no visitors and no income. Government grants were not available in time, if at all, to meet the immediate problems facing individuals and small businesses in the areas affected.
‘We became aware of this and offered immediate interest-free loans to all affected readers. We did the same thing on the first working day of the Surrey crisis.”