Chancellor Rishi Sunak (pictured) is expected to extend government emergency loan programs for business disruption.
According to Financial Time, under plans being drawn up by the Treasury, four of the government’s Covid-19 support programs will see their application deadlines extended until the end of November, and lenders will have until the end of the year to review and process loans.
Programs include the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Program (CBILS), Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Program (CLBILS), Rebound Loan Program (BBLS) and Future Fund.
Sunak would like to extend application deadlines to support businesses affected by regional or national lockdowns, and businesses that are forced to close early due to new curfews.
It comes as the government’s chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance has warned that the UK could see 50,000 new cases of Covid-19 a day by mid-October without further restrictions.
“As we have said time and time again, we keep our economic support package under constant review,” a Treasury spokesperson said.
“We have already provided unprecedented support worth £ 160 billion to the businesses affected throughout this period.
‘This includes government guaranteed loans, a reduction in VAT for the tourism and hospitality sectors, grants of £ 25,000 and the coronavirus job retention scheme, which has supported the salaries of 9.6 million people so far. “
The original deadline for CBILS applications was September 30, although the British Business Bank had already extended the deadline for lenders to review and process applications received on that date, November 30.
CLBILS, which provides up to £ 200million to companies with turnover over £ 45million, was initially scheduled to end on October 20, while the deadline for submitting applications for the BBLS supported 100% by the government was originally scheduled for November 4.
Meanwhile, the future fund – which offers innovative companies convertible loans ranging from £ 125,000 to £ 5million from the government, subject to at least equal matching funding from private investors – was due to end on September 30.
Read more: Who used the future fund?
The latest Treasury data showed that in total, CBILS, BBLS and CLBILS supported 1.23 million businesses during the Covid-19 crisis.
BBLS was the most popular, with 1.7 million businesses receiving £ 35.4 billion through the scheme, followed by CBILS, which deployed £ 13.6 billion to 60,409 companies. CLBILS has delivered £ 3.5 billion to 516 borrowers to date.
Peer-to-peer lenders have publicly called for an extension of government-backed lending programs. The rural P2P company Folk2Folk, which was accredited to CBILS in early July, requested an extension of the scheme in August.
Within the industry, there have been mixed opinions on the future of CBILS and last month the The British Business Bank (BBB) refused to rule out the possibility that some form of company guarantee system could replace it.