Chancellor Rishi Sunak (pictured) is expected to extend the government’s emergency business interruption loan schemes.
According to the Financial Times, under plans being drawn up by the Treasury, four of the government’s Covid-19 support schemes will see their application deadlines extended until the end of November, and lenders will have until the end of the year to consider and process loans.
The schemes include the coronavirus business interruption loan scheme (CBILS), the coronavirus large business interruption loan scheme (CLBILS), the bounce back loan scheme (BBLS), and the future fund.
Sunak reportedly wants to extend the application deadlines to support firms impacted by regional or national lockdowns, and businesses that are forced to shut early due to new curfews.
This comes as the government’s chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance warned that the UK could see 50,000 new Covid-19 cases a day by mid-October without further restrictions.
“As we have repeatedly said we keep our package of economic support under constant review,” a spokesperson from the Treasury said.
“We have already provided unprecedented support worth £160bn to businesses impacted throughout this period.
“This includes government-backed loans, cutting VAT for the tourism and hospitality sectors, grants of £25,000 and the coronavirus job retention scheme, which has supported the wages of 9.6 million people so far.”
The original deadline for CBILS applications was 30 September, although the British Business Bank had already extended the deadline for lenders to consider and process applications received by that date, to 30 November.
CLBILS, which provides up to £200m to businesses with a group turnover of more than £45m, was initially due to end on 20 October, while the deadline for applications for the 100 per cent government-backed BBLS was originally scheduled for 4 November.
Meanwhile, the future fund – which offers innovative companies convertible loans ranging from £125,000 to £5m from the government, subject to at least equal match funding from private investors – was due to end on 30 September.
Read more: Who has been utilising the future fund?
The latest data from the treasury has shown that altogether CBILS, BBLS and CLBILS have supported 1.23 million firms during the Covid-19 crisis.
BBLS has been the most popular, with 1.7 million businesses receiving £35.4bn through the scheme, followed by CBILS, which has deployed £13.6bn to 60,409 companies. CLBILS has delivered £3.5bn to 516 borrowers to date.
Peer-to-peer lenders have publicly called for an extension of the government-backed lending schemes. Rural P2P business Folk2Folk, which was accredited to CBILS at the start of July, called for an extension to the scheme in August.
Within the industry, there have been mixed views on the future of CBILS and last month, the British Business Bank (BBB) refused to rule out the possibility that some form of the enterprise guarantee scheme could replace it.