Funding Circle has praised plans to extend the government-backed recovery loan scheme (RLS) for another six months, after it was revealed that the scheme has already approved more than £1bn to small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) across the UK.
The British Business Bank (BBB) announced this morning that £1.06bn has been offered via 6,190 facilities to businesses across the UK. A total of £822.8m has been drawn down through 5,137 facilities to date.
“We welcome the extension to the recovery loan scheme, which has provided small businesses with invaluable finance at a crucial time,” said Lisa Jacobs, UK managing director at Funding Circle.
“Many of the UK’s SMEs are optimistic about their future, with a third telling us they intend to expand over the coming year.
“Finance is the key to unlocking these growth plans, and we look forward to continuing helping businesses access the scheme, create jobs and drive the economic recovery.”
Last week it was reported that chancellor Rishi Sunak would announce an extension to the scheme during his Autumn budget speech on 27 October. The RLS was originally intended to end on 31 December 2021.
76 lenders have now been accredited to distribute RLS loans, including several peer-to-peer lenders.
“Businesses up and down the country are beginning to look beyond the pandemic towards the opportunities available to them in the recovery,” said Catherine Lewis La Torre, chief executive of the BBB.
“The British Business Bank is committed to supporting smaller businesses in accessing the finance they need to grow sustainably in the future. In meeting the £1bn milestone, the recovery loan scheme is demonstrating its impact by helping thousands of companies to fund their further development.”