Smaller businesses could access new Government-backed 'Bounce Back' loans of up to £50,000 “within days”, according to Chancellor Rishi Sunak.
Sunak announced measures to offer further assistance to smaller operations suffering the impact of the COVID-19 coronavirus lockdown yesterday (April 27), with sums of between £2,000 and £50,000 available on an interest free basis for the first 12 months via an online application process.
He said that the new ‘Bounce Back Loans scheme’ would help bolster the existing package of support available to the smallest businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
“Our smallest businesses are the backbone of our economy and play a vital role in their communities,” he said.
“This new rapid loan scheme will help ensure they get the finance they need quickly to help survive this crisis.
“This is in addition to business grants, tax deferrals, and the job retention scheme, which are already helping to support hundreds of thousands of small businesses.”
Independent Motor Dealers Association chairman, and the owner of independent used car retailer Specialist Cars, Umesh Samani, has already praised Government’s response to the current crisis and described the roll-out of such assistance as “the only way to ensure the economy can continue and grow again”.
Samani said: “The government in my opinion really has stepped-up.
“The amount of money, the process they put in place for quick payments I think is just amazing, if you think back to times we all have to contact the local councils and it takes weeks before they respond with an answer, in this case the payments were in the accounts within days.
“All this proves that the government does not want business to fail but help in any way that is possible, that is the only way to ensure the economy can continue and grow again.
“From me as a small business owner it’s a big thumbs up.”
Earlier this month Governmmet opened up its coronavirus impact mitigation loans schemes to car retail groups with revenues of up to £500m with the launch of a new version of its Coronavirus Business Interruption Loans (CBIL) scheme.
Sunak announced on April 3 that the new scheme, referred to as the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS), would offer government-backed loans of up to £25m to firms with revenues of between £45m and £500m.
Government said this week that its latest loans scheme had been designed to ensure that small firms who need vital cash injections to keep operating can get finance in a matter of days, and comes alongside the £6 billion awarded in business grants, supporting four million jobs through the job retention scheme and generous tax deferrals supporting hundreds of thousands of firms.
It will provide lenders with a 100% guarantee for the loan and pay any fees and interest for the first 12 months, it said, and no repayments will be due during the first 12 months.
Sunak added: “The scheme will launch for applications on Monday, May 4. Firms will be able to access these loans through a network of accredited lenders.
“The government will work with lenders to ensure loans delivered through this scheme are advanced as quickly as possible and agree a low standardised level of interest for the remaining period of the loan.”