£38 billion provided to 910,000 businesses through Covid-19 loan schemes

Photo shows: The Cocktail Service Ltd in Oxford secured a CBILS loan
The Cocktail Service Ltd

More than 910,000 businesses have now been helped by the banking and finance industry through the government’s coronavirus loan schemes.

Figures published by HM Treasury this week reveal that lenders have provided £38.2 billion through the three major government-backed lending programmes. £3.3 billion were approved to 83,000 businesses in the past week, with more applications expected to be approved as the industry continues to help the UK get through these tough times.

One company which has benefitted is The Cocktail Service Ltd, a provider of premium mobile bars for events and festivals based in Oxford, secured a £100k CBIL facility from Santander. The funding will enable The Cocktail Service to retain its bartenders and mixologists as well as ensure it is able to meet short term running costs.

Established in 2009 by three friends, the business had increased its annual turnover by around 60 per cent over the last two years, and had begun running bespoke event bars for more than 600 events per year in the UK, including full bar management for 17 festivals.

The funding will enable The Cocktail Service to retain its bartenders and mixologists as well as ensure it is able to meet short term running costs.

Robert Pounds, Relationship Director, Santander UK, said: “The hospitality sector is facing one of the most challenging times as the outbreak of Coronavirus has swept the UK. In spite of the uncertainty, the team at The Cocktail Service is planning for the future to ensure the business can continue building on the strong growth it has developed in the last decade once the lockdown restrictions are lifted and events recommence.”

The industry has provided loans to more than 860,000 businesses through the BBL scheme since the support was launched in May – an average of more than 140,000 approvals each week. These businesses have been approved for over £26.3 billion in total.

Lenders have approved an additional £550 million through CBILS in the week since data was last published, reaching 1,600 businesses. In total, £10.1 billion has been lent through the scheme to 49,000 firms across the UK.

For larger businesses, £1.8 billion has been approved via the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS) to 279 firms, including 35 new approvals in the past seven days.

More than three quarters of business owners who have received a government-backed loan have, or are planning to put some of their personal finances into their business, while across all businesses 39 per cent of owners have already done so or are planning to use their own funds.

Stephen Jones, CEO of UK Finance, said: “Businesses of all sizes are facing unprecedented challenges in the face of the pandemic, but the banking and finance industry has a clear plan to get them through.

“Lenders have provided more than 910,000 businesses with £38 billion through the government-backed lending schemes to date, with tens of thousands of approvals every day, ensuring financial support reaches those firms who need it most.

“It’s important to remember that any lending provided under government-backed schemes is a debt not a grant, and so firms should carefully consider their ability to repay before applying.