A government support scheme offering loans to small businesses has been extended for a further two years.
The Recovery Loan Scheme (RLS), originally launched in April 2021 to help businesses recovering from the Covid-19 pandemic, offers loans of up to £2 million with the government underwriting 70% in return for a lender fee.
To date, it has supported almost 19,000 businesses with an average of £202,000 in support.
The two-year extension is intended to provide further government support for businesses grappling with cost pressures and adds to measures already announced by the chancellor, such as increasing the Employment Allowance, cutting fuel duty, and introducing a 50% business rates relief for eligible high street businesses.
Business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said: “Small businesses are the lifeblood of the British economy, which is why we are determined to support our traders and entrepreneurs in dealing with worldwide inflationary pressures.
“The extension of the Recovery Loan Scheme will help ensure we continue to provide much-needed finance to thousands of small businesses across the country, while stimulating local communities, creating jobs and driving economic growth in the UK.”
The scheme remains virtually the same although lenders may now require a personal guarantee from the borrower, in line with standard commercial practice.
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