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SMEs access £2.8 billion through business interruption loan scheme

The UK's small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have accessed £2.8 billion in funding through the government's Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS), according to data published by UK Finance.

Total lending under the CBILS doubled during the week from 14 April to 21 April, with an increase of £1.45 billion.

Over 9,000 loans have been provided in the same period, with the total number approved increasing by almost 120% to over 16,600. Lenders have received over 36,000 completed applications so far. 

Commenting on the figures, Rain Newton-Smith, Chief Economist at the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), said: 'These figures show that much needed finance is reaching more and more businesses, particularly larger firms. The government and the banks are putting the shoulder to the wheel in unprecedented times.

'But while the pace is picking up, many firms are still missing out. More loans must get out the door faster for the businesses facing distress, especially smaller businesses. Finding quicker and simpler routes for smaller firms to access cash and extending repayment schedules to encourage more businesses to take them up are two ways that could make a difference.'