Chancellor Rishi Sunak has extended a coronavirus loan guarantee scheme in a bid to protect UK businesses into next year.
Sunak used his Autumn Budget speech to announce a six-month extension of the recovery loan scheme, which had been due to end on 31 December 2021 but is now due to close on 30 June 2022.
The scheme was launched on 6 April 2021 as a bridge between the more generous coronavirus loan schemes which were winding down, and more normal credit conditions.
It provides credit worth up to £10 million per business and up to £30m across a group, with loans available to help fund growth and investment, or manage cashflow.
At the end of October 2021, a total of £822.8m had been borrowed by 5,137 UK businesses since the scheme was launched at the start of the 2021/22 tax year.
About 1,000 more firms have been told they can borrow up to £200m but have yet to tap into it, possibly because the terms are less generous than previous pandemic loan schemes.
Catherine Lewis La Torre, chief executive at the British Business Bank, said:
“A six-month extension to the recovery loan scheme will provide valuable support for smaller businesses as they look beyond the pandemic and towards the opportunities available to them in the recovery.”
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