The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has welcomed the Government’s decision to extend the Recovery Loan Scheme (RLS) by a further two years, with applications opening this month.
The loan was originally introduced in April 2021 to support businesses across the UK as they recovered following the Coronavirus pandemic.
The structure of the scheme will remain essentially the same, offering small businesses support to access finance, with the Government guaranteeing 70% of loans, up to a maximum of £2 million per business.
The scheme will again be administered by the British Business Bank, which said £4.5bn of lending had been offered through over 20,643 facilities across the UK to date.
Catherine Lewis La Torre, CEO, British Business Bank, said: “The British Business Bank is committed to supporting smaller businesses in accessing the finance they need to grow sustainably.
“Thousands of businesses in all sectors and from right across the UK have taken out loans under the Recovery Loan Scheme. This will better position them to confront both the challenges and opportunities that are ahead.”
The scheme was originally launched in April 2021 and was scheduled to run until the end of that year. It was extended by six months in the Autumn Budget to the end of June 2022.
Alex Veitch, the BCC’s Director of Policy and Public Affairs, said: “Given today’s turbulent economic conditions, BCC welcomes the launch of the new version of the RLS, which will open for applications in August 2022, run by the British Business Bank and its partners.
“The Chamber Network has consistently campaigned for this measure which will provide an additional option for firms struggling with high energy, staff, and supply chain costs.
“We now call on Government to take action on business costs for the long term, starting with amending the Shortage Occupation List to enable firms to access the skills they need to grow and thrive.
“The maximum loan size remains at up to £2m. However, lenders may now require a personal guarantee from the borrower.”
Further details on the RLS can be found here: https://www.british-business-bank.co.uk/press-release/recovery-loan-scheme-offers-over-4-5bn-of-lending-to-smaller-businesses/.