HM Treasury has revealed it has provided nearly £80 billion to businesses through government backed loan schemes during the coronavirus pandemic.
The total business support provided by the UK government includes the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS), the Bounce Back Loan Scheme and companies that have benefited from the Future Fund.
More than 1.5 million Bounce Back Loans worth £47 billion were provided during the pandemic, with £26 billion also provided through CBILS as well as over £5 billion of business interruption loans to large businesses.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak said:
We promised to stand by businesses at every stage of the pandemic and we have delivered on that promise.
“I am proud of the extraordinary extent of support we’ve offered since March last year – we will continue to back businesses and protect people’s jobs as we recover from coronavirus.”
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 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.
Businesses in the North West received almost £7.6 billion through the CBILS and Bounce Back Loan schemes, making the region the third largest recipient of government backed loans after London and the South East. 164,000 Bounce Back Loans were provided to small businesses in the region, totalling £4.8 billion, while CBILS provided 10,600 loans worth over £2.7 billion to companies with a turnover of less than £45 million.
Dr Sophie Dale-Black, UK network director, the North of England at the British Business Bank, said:
The Covid-19 loan schemes have been an important part of the government’s response to the pandemic, providing businesses with much-needed breathing space and reducing cash-flow concerns for many.
“We’re pleased to see evidence that they have helped smaller businesses right across the North West and look forward to helping more businesses to prosper and grow as we look towards economic recovery.”
Nationwide, the two sectors to benefit most from the government support during the pandemic are the wholesale and retail sector, which received £12.4 billion in loans, followed by the construction sector (£11.7 billion).