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Small Businesses: Coronavirus

Question for Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

UIN HL13773, tabled on 1 March 2021

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the ability of small businesses to repay loans provided by the Government during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Answered on

15 March 2021

As of 21 February 2021, the Government’s lending schemes have approved over 1.5 million Government-guaranteed loans worth over £72 billion to support cashflow for businesses across the UK affected by Covid-19.

We recognise that some borrowers will benefit from repayment flexibility, and that is why we announced the Pay As You Grow measures, which give Bounce Back Loan borrowers more time and greater flexibility to repay their loans.

We have also enabled lenders to extend the repayment period for Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) facilities beyond 6 years (up to a maximum of 10 years) where this is needed in connection with the provision of forbearance. CBILS term extensions are offered at the discretion of lenders. This measure is designed to help businesses that would struggle to repay their CBILS facility on their existing terms, by reducing monthly repayments.

The Government continues to enhance its engagement with a broad range of trade and representative bodies, in particular SME networks, to continue to understand the impact of Covid-19 on businesses and the concerns they have.