£1.2bn goes to North East Businesses

British Business Bank Undertakings in Difficulty

Almost 35,000 North East businesses have benefited from over £1.2bn of funding under two biggest Coronavirus loan schemes, reveal new figures from British Business Bank.

New data published today shows that businesses across the North East have received a total of over £1.2bn in funding under the government’s two largest Covid-19 loan schemes, the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme and the Bounce Back Loan Scheme. These provide financial support to businesses across the UK that are losing revenue, and seeing their cashflow disrupted, as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak:

• Over 33,000 loans worthover £939m have been offered across the North East under the Bounce Bank Loan Scheme, which provides a six-year term loan from £2,000 up to 25% of a business’ turnover, with a limit of £50,000.

• Over 1,200 loans worth almost £264m have been offered across the North East under the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, which provides Business loans, overdrafts, invoice finance & asset finance of up to £5m to businesses with a turnover less than £45m. Total funding provided to North East businesses represents 3% of the national total, in line with the relative size of the North East’s business population (3%).

Keith Morgan, Chief Executive Officer of the British Business Bank, said: “A key objective for the British Business Bank is to identify and help reduce regional imbalances in access to finance for smaller businesses across the UK. It is welcome to see in the data that these schemes are helping businesses in the North East to access the finance they need to survive and stabilise, putting them in a better position to grow as we move into recovery.”

A business with a client portfolio of mainly office-based organisations, Gateshead-based ART Health Solutions was severely affected when those corporate premises closed suddenly as a result of Covid-19. Needing to adapt quickly to this changing situation so it could better tailor its product to the new ways of working. The company applied for funding from NatWest via the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) and was approved ten days later. Phillip Bell, Chief Operating Officer of ART Health Solutions, said: “Without CBILS, we’d have been under immediate pressure to generate income in an environment that wasn’t suitable to our existing product and service. The loan has offset those concerns and we’re now able to play our part in helping the economy to recover.”