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Social Enterprises: Loans

Treasury written question – answered on 13th May 2020.

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Photo of Caroline Lucas Caroline Lucas Green, Brighton, Pavilion

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will permit social impact financiers to provide fast, low interest loans under the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme to (a) co-operatives, (b) mutual societies and (c) other social enterprises; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of John Glen John Glen Minister of State (Treasury) (City), The Economic Secretary to the Treasury

The Government has set out an unprecedented package of support for all businesses affected by this crisis, including the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS).

On 3 April the Chancellor extended the eligibility of the scheme so that all viable small and medium-sized businesses affected by Covid-19, and not just those viable businesses unable to secure regular commercial financing, are now eligible to borrow under CBILS.

Businesses can access loans from £50,001 up to £5 million and the Government will cover the first 12 months’ interest payments and any fees. The interest rate charged on finance facilities will be set at the discretion of each lender. The Government expects that these rates will be competitive and fairly priced, taking into account the unprecedented situation businesses may currently face. All lenders must clearly explain the interest and fees that they will charge over the duration of the facility.

Co-operatives and other mutuals are eligible to borrow under CBILS, provided they meet the wider scheme eligibility criteria. The Government recognises the value of co-operatives, and officials will continue to engage with sector representatives to understand the impact of the disruption caused by COVID-19.

Any lender, including social impact financiers, who wish to become accredited should contact the BBB.

As of 13 May, there are 68 accredited lenders participating in CBILS, and this list can be found on the British Business Bank’s website: https://www.british-business-bank.co.uk/ourpartners/coronavirus-business-interruption-loan-scheme-cbils-2/current-accredited-lenders-and-partners/.

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