Accredited lenders have been given an extra two months to consider applications for finance under the coronavirus business interruption loans scheme (CBILS).
The scheme was due to end on September 30 but there have been calls for an extension.
The British Business Bank has now clarified that firms can have an extra two months to process and approve applications.
Banking trade body UK Finance said the update “provides welcome clarity for businesses and should help give more firms the chance to access the finance they need.”
It comes as the number of firms benefiting from CBILS passed the 60,000 mark.
The Treasury has revealed the latest data for government-backed financial support during the pandemic, showing 1.23m businesses have access schemes so far.
Its figures show 60,409 businesses have had approvals for CBILS worth £13.6bn.
Bounce back loans (BBLs) remain the most popular, with 1.17m firms receiving £35.4bn, while 516 borrowers have accessed £3.5bn through the coronavirus large business interruption loan scheme.
Read more: P2P lenders halt CBILS applications
“The UK’s banking and finance industry remains committed to supporting the nation’s businesses through these challenging times,” Stephen Pegge, managing director of commercial finance at UK Finance, said.
“BBLs continue to be a vital element of the industry’s support package, supporting nearly 1.23m small and micro businesses across the UK.
“CBILS has also seen continued demand from impacted businesses, with more than 60,409 businesses now supported through the scheme.
“The government-backed coronavirus lending schemes operate alongside commercial lending, capital repayment holidays, extended overdrafts and invoice finance facilities. They are just one element of the broader strategy for supporting the nation’s enterprises.”