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Monday newspaper round-up: Business optimism, David Cameron, Bonmarche

Optimism among business leaders is at a record high based on hopes that Britons will commence a multibillion-pound summer spending frenzy after being freed from lockdown. On the day that non-essential shops and other businesses in England reopened for the first time since January, three separate studies suggest that the bounceback in the economy could be broader and faster than previously expected. Small, medium and larger FTSE companies all reported improved sentiment, with only exporters – affected by Brexit as well as coronavirus – suffering a downturn in fortunes. – Guardian
David Cameron has broken his 30-day silence over lobbying ministers on behalf of the scandal-hit company Greensill Capital, accepting he should have acted differently and used only “the most formal channels”. Cameron, who was first contacted by the Financial Times in early March, said he had reflected on his conduct and that “important lessons” would be learned. The first formal request for comment was submitted to his office on 12 March and Cameron had since ignored all requests from national media. – Guardian

Hundreds of jobs are at risk at Bonmarché as administrators try to decide how many stores will reopen when Covid restrictions are lifted on Monday. The over-50s fashion chain, which was previously part of Philip Day’s stable of brands, went bust in October. Administrators at RSM have been reviewing the options for the estate during lockdown. Some or all of the remaining 148 stores may never reopen. – Telegraph

Senior staff are preparing to stage an exodus at Asda after receiving final payouts from a share scheme run by the grocer’s American owner. Industry sources and headhunters said that they had been contacted by several Asda executives looking to leave, with one saying that the level of inquiries was much higher than normal for the sector. – The Times

A small business that made educational kits to help youngsters to learn about technology secured £1.3 million in a funding round last June, almost £700,000 of which came from taxpayers via the government’s Future Fund. Nine months on, Tech Will Save Us, whose toys were gifted to children of key workers last year by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, is bust. The taxpayer stands to lose nearly £1.1 million once HM Revenue & Customs debts are factored in, while crowdfunding investors will lose £844,000. – The Times

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