Local London Assembly candidate Nick Vandyke and Business Secretary Alok Sharma (pictured) have welcomed the announcement that the UK Government-owned British Business Bank has issued its 75,000th loan through its Start Up Loans programme, marking more than £623 million invested in small businesses across the UK since its launch in 2012.
Across London, 16,508 loans have been made so far to small businesses and entrepreneurs, totalling £137,001,751 with the average loan being £8,299 - meaning that thousands of people have benefited from UK Government backed support where they may otherwise have struggled to access it.
Of the people who have received a loan since 2012, 40 percent were women, one in five came from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities (BAME), and one third were unemployed when they applied for the loan, reflecting the diversity of the UK start up community.
The Start Up Loans scheme has benefited every region and country in the UK, and underscores the Government's commitment to level up and improve opportunities across every part of the United Kingdom as we continue our recovery from coronavirus.
The Conservative Government has already provided a huge and unprecedented package of support for businesses through this difficult time, including providing income support for self-employed workers, Bounce Back Loans of up to £50,000 for businesses experiencing financial difficulties, grants of up to £25,000 for the industries and small businesses which have been hardest hit by the coronavirus outbreak, a temporary cut in VAT for the tourism and hospitality sectors from 20 per cent to 5 per cent, and a 12-month business rates holiday for sectors which are struggling with cashflow issues.
Commenting, Nick Vandyke said:
Small businesses in West Ham and across all of City & East are the backbone of our local economy and this Conservative Government has long been committed to giving them all the support they need to flourish and thrive.
Our Start Up Loans scheme has now provided £137,001,751 worth of investment and support to thousands of small businesses and entrepreneurs across London, including for those who may otherwise have struggled to access it, helping to drive investment here and boost our local economy.
As we build Britain back better in the months ahead, I will continue to work to give our local entrepreneurs and innovators all the support they need to keep them in business so they can create and protect jobs.
Business Secretary Alok Sharma said:
The Start Up Loans programme was set up by the government-owned British Business Bank to give funding and support to entrepreneurs who might otherwise struggle to access it, making a real difference to tens of thousands of entrepreneurs across the country.
Our plan to build back better will level up every region and sector of the UK economy, backing makers, doers and innovators regardless of background.
As well as finance, every loan recipient is offered a support package, including access to a free expert business mentor for 12 months to help them with every aspect of setting up a business.
The City & East London Assembly constituency includes the whole of the West Ham parliamentary constituency along with the rest of the London Borough of Newham, the City of London and the London Boroughs of Tower Hamlets and Barking & Dagenham.
We are supporting small businesses by:
- Helping businesses meet the costs of keeping their staff on their books throughout the coronavirus outbreak. The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme allowed firms to furlough workers, with the Government paying 80 per cent of employees’ salaries, up to £2,500 a month. From the start of August, employers have been asked to start contributing towards some of the salary costs, alongside the Government. (HM Treasury, News Story, 20 April 2020.)
- Launching the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme, to ensure people who work for themselves are getting the support they need. The Government will pay self-employed people who have been adversely affected by coronavirus a grant worth 80 per cent of their average monthly profits over the last three years, up to £2,500 a month, for three months. A second grant is available covering June to August, available at 70 per cent of average monthly profits. (HM Treasury, News Story, 29 May 2020.)
- Providing Bounce Back Loans to ensure businesses are able to get access to financial support as quickly as possible. Any smaller business experiencing financial difficulties because of coronavirus can apply for a loan of up to £50,000, which is 100 per cent guaranteed by Government for the first 12 months – during which time no repayments will need to be made. Loans reach bank accounts within days of an application being made. (HM Treasury, News Story, 4 May 2020.)
- Making grants available for the industries and small businesses which have been hardest hit by the coronavirus outbreak. We are providing grants of either £10,000 or £25,000 to businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors and which occupy properties with a rateable value of less than £51,000. (HM Treasury/Department of Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, News Story, 1 April 2020.)
- Setting up the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme to help companies that need access to cash. Any viable business with a turnover of up to £45 million can apply for a loan of up to £5 million, and we have banned lenders from requesting personal guarantees for loans under £250,000. A Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme is also available to provide loans of up to £25 and 50 million for companies with a turnover above £45 million. (HM Treasury, News Story, 3 April 2020.)
- Temporarily cutting VAT for the tourism and hospitality sectors, giving a much-needed boost to some of the industries hardest hit by coronavirus. From 15 July 2020, we will cut the rate of VAT applied across the UK to hospitality, accommodation and attractions from 20 per cent to 5 per cent until 12 January 2021. This could support almost 2 million businesses and protect 2.5 million jobs. (HM Treasury, Policy Paper, 9 July 2020.)
- Offering a 12-month business rates holiday for sectors which are struggling with cashflow issues. All eligible businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors, as well as nurseries, estate agents and bingo halls, will pay no businesses rates from 12 months, from 1 April 2020. (HM Treasury, News Story, 17 March 2020.)