Rishi Sunak has announced he will extend the UK-wide programme of business support loans, with applications now possible until the end of November and banks allowed to process loans until the end of the year.
The extension will apply to the four current schemes, the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS), Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS), Covid Corporate Financing Facility (CCFF) and Bounce-Back Loan Scheme (BBLS). Three of the programmes were due to end this month for applications. The fourth - the BBLS - was scheduled to close at the start of November. It is expected that the availability of the Future Fund will also be extended - this scheme has seen the government support fast-growing start-ups alongside private investors.
Jonathan Porteous, head of banking and finance at Stevens & Bolton LLP, comments:
“This extension is clearly the right call given the worsening COVID-19 situation. Many businesses have been gamely battling on in terrible economic conditions and a potential second lock-down will be very challenging indeed for them. We are seeing steady take-up of loans under the schemes and it would have made no sense to withdraw the support measures at this time”.