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Government loans handed to coronavirus-hit businesses tops £50bn

Time 9 months ago

The Treasury has approved more than £50bn of loans to businesses hit by coronavirus, new figures reveal.

The loans handed out to businesses – many of which are in the motor trade – include £33.34bn in Bounce Back Loans for over a million businesses.

The government, which is guaranteeing the vast majority of the loans, added that £13.08bn has been handed over through the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) and £3.2bn through the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS) to larger firms.

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Latest HM Revenue & Customs figures show 9.6m workers are still being supported by the job retention scheme with 1.2m businesses claiming a total of £33.8bn.

Responding to the updates, 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.

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‘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.’

James Batchelor

James – or Batch as he’s known – started at Car Dealer in 2010, first as the work experience boy, eventually becoming editor in 2013. He worked for Auto Express as editor-at-large and was the face of Carbuyer’s YouTube reviews. In 2020, he went freelance and now writes for a number of national titles and contributes regularly to Car Dealer.

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