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    Pandemic loan schemes reach 1.6 million firms disbursing almost £180 billion

    Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak hosts a roundtable for business representatives, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, at Franco Manca in Waterloo, London, Britain October 22, 2020. Stefan Rousseau/Pool via REUTERS

    More than 1.6 million firms have been benefited from the various emergency loan schemes during the Covid-19 pandemic, the Treasury’s final monthly update has shown.

    The schemes – the Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS), Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS), Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS), and the Covid Corporate Financing Facility (CCFF) – have provided almost £180 billion worth of lending as of 25 March, supporting over a quarter of businesses in the UK.

    “I said we would do whatever it takes to protect jobs and livelihoods and that is exactly what we have done,” commented the Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak.

    “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 latest statistics has revealed that three Bounce Back Loans were issued every minute since May 2020 launch.

    The CCFF scheme alone supported firms responsible for 2.5 million jobs, including those in the car industry, travel, hospitality, and high street stores.

    CBILS, CLBILS and BBLS close for new applications on 31 March. A new Recovery Loan Scheme will open to applications on 6 April to ensure support is still available for those who still need it.

    The UK-wide scheme provides an 80 per cent guarantee to lenders for term loans, overdrafts, and invoice and asset finance. The maximum loan size across all products is £10 million and the minimum loan size is £25,000 for term loans and overdrafts, and £1,000 for invoice and asset finance.

    It will run until 31 December, administered by the British Business Bank via a diverse network of accredited commercial lenders.

    The CCFF also closed to new issuance from 23 March. It will continue to provide finance for firms with outstanding loans in the scheme until March 2022 at the latest.

    In addition, 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 31 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.

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