Government backs £50 billion worth of loans to help firms through pandemic

More than £50 billion worth of loans to businesses hit by Covid-19 have been approved by the Treasury.

This includes, up to August 2, £33.34 billion in Bounce Back Loans for 1,135,575 companies.

The Government, which is underwriting the majority of the loans should they not be repaid, added that £13.08 billion has been endorsed through the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) and £3.27 billion through the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS) to larger firms.

Some 537 convertible loans have been awarded through the Future Fund, totalling £534 million with the Government also continuing to support the salaries of 9.6 million workers on furlough through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

The latest HM Revenue & Customs data up to August 2 shows 1.2 million firms are claiming a total of £33.8 billion.

Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) national chairman Mike Cherry said: “Nine in 10 people who moved from unemployment back into the workplace after the financial crash did so through a small business or self-employment.

“Many were striking out on their own for the first time, so support for new businesses over the months ahead – especially through the Start-up Loans Programme and New Enterprise Allowance – will be integral to recovery.

“Small firms and their staff need to be confident that the infrastructure is there to tackle this virus. We were promised a world-beating Test and Trace system, and such a system is integral to getting businesses firing on all cylinders again.

“While most have benefited from direct government support, many have not. Thousands of directors and newly self-employed people have been left with no help for months now.

“As we look to the autumn, the Government needs to think carefully about how it will help those who have been left behind.

“Bounce Back Loans have provided critical cash injections for huge swathes of the small business community. Firms now need a guarantee that they won’t have to start making repayments until they’re making a profit.

“Such a pledge would give them the confidence to invest, recruit and expand today rather than hoard cash for fear of what’s coming down the line.”

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