LEP welcomes bounce back loan scheme

The Lancashire Enterprise Partnership has welcomed the new 'bounce back' loan scheme announced by chancellor Rishi Sunak.

Fully guaranteed loans of between £2,000 and £50,000 (up to a maximum 25 per cent of business turnover) will be made available to small businesses, with no repayments required within the first 12 months. Applications will be accepted from May 4.

Steve Fogg, chair of the LEP, said: "I am delighted the government has listened to businesses and extended the existing loan scheme.

''Intelligence obtained by the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership has shown that the existing loan scheme simply was not working for many small businesses which have been struggling to access the loans available. The new microloan scheme is an attempt to mitigate a lot of the bureaucracy associated with the previous scheme and enable smaller businesses to access a much needed cash injection for their companies.''

He added: ''Micro and small businesses account for over 90% of the Lancashire economy and it is vital for them to be able to access loans quickly and easily to stay afloat and be in a stronger position for a speedier recovery once we begin to return to some sort of normality as the restrictions are eased.''

The existing loan scheme simply was not working for many small businesses which have been struggling

Sarah Kemp, chief executive of the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership, added: ''Every day we are hearing of examples whereby Lancashire businesses have adapted during this crisis which is testament to the ability of our businesses to innovate. This is fantastic.

"Unfortunately we are also hearing of businesses which have experienced extreme pressures as a result of cash flow problems, many of which are attributable to supply chain issues. The microloan scheme should hopefully alleviate some of these immediate difficulties and improve their resilience and prospects of survival during these very challenging times.''

Up to date information on this and other support packages can be found via the LEP website at www.lancashirelep.co.uk/Covid-19

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