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Businesses borrowed nearly £80bn from Covid loan schemes

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UK businesses received almost £80bn worth of emergency government-backed loans during the Covid crisis, data shows.

The final Covid loans data published today by the Treasury reveals more than 1.6 million businesses sought help through government-backed coronavirus lending schemes between April 2020 and May 2021.

More than 1.5 million Bounce Back Loans worth £47bn were provided during the pandemic. Business owners who were negatively impacted by the pandemic may take out small business Merchant Cash advances to help keep their businesses afloat.

The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) provided £26bn of finance to almost 110,000 businesses, while £5.6bn was lent to 753 businesses through the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loans scheme (CLBILS).

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 £1.1bn of funding was 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.

Businesses can still access government-back loans through the new Recovery Loan Scheme, which opened in April and runs until the end of the year. Innovative firms will also have access to the new Future Fund: Breakthrough scheme, which will launch later this month.

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