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One in five businesses get virus support during crisis

By John Corser | Business | Published:

A total of 88,500 businesses in the region – including many in Shropshire – have had their applications approved for loans to help them get through the pandemic.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak

Before the outbreak, the average number of loans and overdrafts approved each year to small and medium-sized companies in the West Midlands was just under 19,900 over the past five years by the 10 largest banking groups.

Figures from HM Treasury reveal that the banking and finance industry has now provided £3.46 billion to businesses across the region to help them get through the Covid-19 crisis. As of August 2, the 88,500 firms in the West Midlands that have received the Bounce Back Loan Scheme or Coronavirus Businesses Interruption Loan Scheme amount to 18 per cent of all businesses in the region.

In just over two months since the launch of the scheme, 84,800 businesses in the region have received a Bounce Back Loan, with the total value of support reaching £2.6bn. Aimed at small and micro businesses, these loans are 100 per cent government-backed and provide finance between £2,000 and £50,000.

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Lenders have also provided finance worth £870 million to 3,700 companies in the region through the CBIL scheme. Lenders have said supporting businesses of all sizes during these challenging times remains their top priority.

Alongside the Government-backed lending schemes, the industry has a broad range of additional measures for businesses whose finances continue to be squeezed, from working capital extensions, to overdraft extensions and capital repayment holidays.

The support has helped a range of businesses in Shropshire including Home Farm Attingham, a family-run dairy farm in Atcham, near Shrewsbury.

The business received a £50,000 Bounce Back Loan from Barclays to cover expenditure in preparation for winter operations and to keep the enterprise running through the lockdown period, meaning that it was able to mitigate the impact of losing a significant amount of tourism traffic through its tearooms.

The Halfpenny Green Wine Estate at Bobbington, near Wolverhampton, secured a funding package from Lloyds Bank helping it to continue operating despite the closure of its customer-facing premises, and allowing it to meet a surge in demand for its wines.

John Corser

By John Corser
Business Reporter

Express & Star Business Editor at head office, Wolverhampton. Welcomes all news of companies and business organisations.

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