Coronavirus loan schemes relieved cash flow concerns for “millions” of British businesses, latest figures reveal

Businesses borrowed almost £80 billion in emergency loans and finance facilities throughout the coronavirus pandemic, a major study has revealed.

The final figures, published by HM Treasury and the British Business Bank (BBB), reflect the success of the Government’s financial support package, which included initiatives such as the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) and the Bounce Back Loans Scheme (BBLS).

According to the report, more than 1.67 million loans worth a total £79.3 billion were approved between April 2020 and May 2021.

This includes 1,560,309 Bounce Back Loans worth £47.36 billion, 109,877 CBILS loans worth £26.39 billion, and 753 Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS) loans worth £5.56 billion.

This comes in addition to 106,660 top-up loans approved under the BBLS Top Up scheme and £1.2 billion in convertible business loans through the Future Fund for high growth, pre-profit businesses.

Commenting on the figures, Chancellor Rishi Sunak said: “We promised to stand by businesses at every stage of the pandemic and we have delivered on that promise.

“I am proud of the extraordinary extent of support we’ve offered since March last year – we will continue to back businesses and protect people’s jobs as we recover from coronavirus.”

Catherine Lewis La Torre, Chief Executive Officer of the BBB, added: “The Covid-19 loan schemes have been an important part of the government’s response to the pandemic, providing businesses with much-needed breathing space and reducing cash-flow concerns for many. We’re pleased to see evidence that they have helped smaller businesses right across the UK and look forward to helping more businesses to prosper and grow as we look towards economic recovery.”

The figures come after all four schemes were replaced by the new Recovery Loan Scheme. The initiative – aimed at businesses of all sizes – provides affordable finance options of up £10 million per applicant.

The scheme is open until 31 December 2021 and is only available through accredited lenders.

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