Government-Backed Loans Supported Thousands of Businesses During Pandemic

Government-backed finance helped thousands of businesses protect jobs and livelihoods during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Treasury’s final monthly update on its emergency loan schemes – the Bounce Back Loan Scheme, Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme, Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, and the Covid Corporate Financing Facility – show that more than 1.6 million firms benefited from support to keep them trading and protect jobs and livelihoods. Three Bounce Back Loans were issued every minute since May 2020 launch.

In total, these schemes have provided almost £180 billion worth of lending to date, supporting over a quarter of businesses in the UK. The CCFF alone has directly supported firms that employ almost 2.5 million people in the UK, including those in the car industry, travel, hospitality, and high street stores.

As of 21 March 2021:

Loan Type Value of Facilities Approved Number of Facilities Approved
Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) £23.28bn 98,344
Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS) £5.30bn 716
Bounce Back Loan Scheme £46.53bn* 1,531,095
Covid Corporate Financing Facility (CCFF) £104bn of commercial paper ** 304
Total financing £179.11bn 1,630,459

CBILS, CLBILS and BBLS close for new applications next week, on 31 March 2021. The CCFF also closed to new issuance from 23 March 2021. It will continue to provide finance for firms with outstanding loans in the scheme until March 2022 at the latest.

A further £1.12 billion of funding has been provided to 1,140 high growth firms through the Future Fund. This scheme, which closed on the 31st January, was designed to support innovative UK companies that typically rely on equity investment and whose access to investment was affected by Covid-19. The new Future Fund: Breakthrough scheme will launch in early summer of 2021.

“I said we would do whatever it takes to protect jobs and livelihoods and that is exactly what we have done,” the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, said. “We’ll continue to protect jobs through our new Recovery Loan Scheme – part of our wider Plan for Jobs – as we move out of this crisis.”

The new Recovery Loan Scheme will open to applications on Tuesday 6 April to ensure support is still available for those who still need it. The Recovery Loan Scheme will run until 31 December 2021 and will ensure lenders continue to have the confidence to provide support, and viable businesses can access Government-backed finance throughout 2021 following the disruption of the pandemic.

The Recovery Loan Scheme will operate UK-wide, providing an 80% guarantee to lenders for term loans, overdrafts, and invoice and asset finance. The maximum loan size across all products will be £10 million; the minimum loan size will be £25,000 for term loans and overdrafts, and £1,000 for invoice and asset finance.

Once received, the finance can be used for any legitimate business purpose, including growth and investment. The scheme will be administered by the British Business Bank via a diverse network of accredited commercial lenders. Any business trading in the UK will be eligible to apply, and applicants will need to demonstrate to lenders that they are viable (or would be were it not for the pandemic) and have been impacted by the pandemic.

Image: goodluz / Adobe Stock

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