£256m aid for businesses

More than 5,500 business in the Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council area received a total of £256,498,622 in loans under a Government scheme to help them cope during the Coronavirus lockdowns.

Wednesday, 21st July 2021, 12:30 pm

A total of 226 businesses in ABC received £88,869,446 through Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) while 5,276 received £167,629,176 from the Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS).

Nearly 44,500 businesses in Northern Ireland benefitted from over £2bn of funding under the two biggest Coronavirus loan schemes, as final lending figures were revealed by the British Business Bank.

The schemes provided financial support to businesses across the UK impacted by the Covid-19 outbreak, closing for applicants at the end of March 2021.

Over 42,000 loans worth nearly £1.3bn have been provided across Northern Ireland under the Bounce Bank Loan Scheme, which provided a six-year term loan from £2,000 up to 25% of a business’ turnover, with a limit of £50,000.

Over 2,400 loans worth nearly £0.8bn have been provided across Northern Ireland under the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, which provided business loans, overdrafts, invoice finance and asset finance of up to £5m to businesses with a turnover less than £45m.

Total funding from the schemes provided to nearly 44,500 businesses represents three per cent of the UK total, broadly in line with the relative size of Northern Ireland’s business population (2%).

Mark Sterritt, UK Network Director, Northern Ireland at British Business Bank said: “The Covid-19 loan schemes have been an important part of the government’s response to the pandemic, providing businesses with much-needed breathing space and reducing cash-flow concerns for many. We’re pleased to see evidence that they have helped smaller businesses right across Northern Ireland and look forward to helping more businesses to prosper and grow as we look towards economic recovery.”

Earlier this year the British Business Bank revealed the ABC area has had 120 Start Up Loans issued since the programme began. Since 2012 the Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon area has accounted for over 9% of all Start Up Loans in Northern Ireland.

The Start Up Loans scheme is open to all ages but is particularly effective in enabling young entrepreneurs to become their own boss, with millennials representing more than half (54%) of all previously unemployed loan recipients since 2012.

Editor’s message:

Thank you for reading this article. We’re more reliant on your support than ever as the shift in consumer habits brought about by Coronavirus impacts our advertisers.

Please consider purchasing a copy of the paper. You can also support trusted, fact-checked journalism by taking out a digital subscription of the News Letter.