Small firms secure almost £35bn through bounce back loans

Small firms have secured almost £35 billion through the Government’s bounce back loans programme since the start of the pandemic.

The Treasury revealed that 1.15 million claims to use the loan scheme, aimed at the smallest businesses, were approved by Sunday August 9.

It said that £34.96 billion worth of claims have been approved through the programme, which offers state-backed loans valued at up to £50,000.

However, some economists have raised concerns that many loans through the scheme, which is 100% covered by the state, may never be fully repaid.

On Tuesday, the Government said it received more than 1.4 million applications for the loan scheme, meaning a quarter of a million approaches were rejected.

The Treasury said total support for firms through various policy measures is now significantly over £50 billion.

This also includes £13.4 billion worth of claims for the coronavirus business interruption loans scheme (CBILS), through almost 60,000 claims.

Meanwhile, the taxpayer has paid out £3.4 billion to 497 large firms through the coronavirus large business interruption loans (CLBILS) scheme for the largest companies.

HMRC’s furlough programme, which is closed to new applications, has supported 9.6 million workers at a cost of around £33.8 billion.

Earlier on Tuesday, the Government unveiled strong take-up of its programme to boost consumer spending in restaurants and cafes this month.

It said it has been sent 10.5 million claims for its Eat Out to Help Out scheme, which gives diners 50% off their meal, up to a maximum of £10 per person, on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, this month.