COVID-19 – 1.23 million businesses access Government support schemes

More than 1.23 million UK businesses have accessed COVID-19 support schemes backed by the Government, according to the latest figures from HM Treasury.

The data shows that 17 million small and micro businesses have utilised the Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS) as they look to recover from the coronavirus pandemic.

HM Treasury has also revealed that £13.7 billion has been distributed through the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS), with more than 60,000 businesses affected by the pandemic receiving support packages.

The Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS) has also been widely adopted, with 516 larger businesses in the UK being supported through the scheme.

However, recent research by UK Finance has shown that businesses are cautious over exploring the potential for further credit with the current economic uncertainly prompting many to adopt a more restrained approach.

In total, fewer than half of small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are happy to borrow to either grow their business or negotiate their way through the coronavirus pandemic.

Stephen Pegge, Managing Director of Commercial Finance at UK Finance, said: “The UK’s banking and finance industry remains committed to supporting the nation’s businesses through these challenging times.

“The Government-backed coronavirus lending schemes operate alongside commercial lending, capital repayment holidays, extended overdrafts and invoice finance facilities. They are just one element of the broader strategy for supporting the nation’s enterprises.

“It is important to remember that any lending provided under government-backed schemes is a debt, not a grant, and so firms should carefully consider their ability to repay before applying.”

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