Monday 01st March 2021
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Firms in the East take up Covid loans worth almost £6 billion

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The huge scale of government lending in the region during the pandemic has been highlighted by figures showing over 145,000 businesses across the East have received a total of almost £6bn in funding under the two largest Covid-19 loan schemes.

Figures from the state-owned British Business Bank showed that nearly 138,000 loans worth nearly £4.2bn have been offered across the East under the bounce bank loan scheme; a six-year term loan from £2 -50,000. Meanwhile, over 7,400 loans worth nearly £1.8bn have been offered in the region under the coronavirus business interruption loan scheme, which provides loans, overdrafts, invoice finance & asset finance of up to £5m.

In all, funding to businesses in the East accounted for a tenth of the national total. Catherine Lewis La Torre, chief executive officer of the British Business Bank, said: “Looking towards economic recovery, we’re pleased to see the Coronavirus loan schemes continuing to support smaller businesses in the East of England in accessing the finance they need to help them to keep trading and to support their future growth plans.”

Recently-appointed business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng added: “While there are still tough times ahead, we will continue to offer all the support we can to protect jobs and keep businesses afloat so we can look to not only restart our economy, but build back better from the pandemic.”