? Businesses across the West Midlands benefit from almost £3.5bn in Covid-19 financial support

New data from the British Business Bank shows that businesses across the West Midlands have received a total of almost £3.5bn in funding under the government’s two largest Covid-19 loan schemes, the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme and the Bounce Back Loan Scheme. These provide financial support to businesses across the UK that are losing revenue, and seeing their cashflow disrupted, as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak.

·         Almost 85,000 loans worth almost £2.6bn have been offered across the West Midlands under the Bounce Bank Loan Scheme, which provides a six-year term loan from £2,000 up to 25% of a business’ turnover, with a limit of £50,000

·         Over 3,700 loans worth over £870m have been offered across the West Midlands under the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, which provides Business loans, overdrafts, invoice finance & asset finance of up to £5m to businesses with a turnover less than £45m

Total funding provided to West Midlands businesses represents 8% of the national total, in line with the relative size of the West Midlands’s business population (8%).

Keith Morgan, Chief Executive Officer of the British Business Bank, said: “A key objective for the British Business Bank is to identify and help reduce regional imbalances in access to finance for smaller businesses across the UK. It is welcome to see in the data that these schemes are helping businesses in the West Midlands to access the finance they need to survive and stabilise, putting them in a better position to grow as we move into recovery.”Businesses across the country, from a wide range of sectors, have benefited from the schemes. Those featuring on the British Business Bank website include a Cambridgeshire-based cooking technology manufacturer, a Gateshead-based health solutions company and a Cornish removals company. Others include a Llandudno-based hotel, a Worksop-based plastering company and a County Down-based distributor of table sauces to food premises.

CASE STUDY: Architectural Wallsz, Alvechurch: 

A Worcestershire-based company specialising in office wall partitions was forced to cancel all work for April and May after non-essential construction sites closed due to Covid-19. A £93,000 CBILS loan supported the company’s survival. 

Architectural Wallsz, based in Alvechurch, was forced to cancel all work scheduled for April and May after non-essential construction sites closed due to Covid-19.

The company approached BCRS Business Loans, who are a delivery partner for the government-backed Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS), to secure £93,000 to support the company during this unprecedented interruption to trading.

Ian Strangward, Managing Director at Architectural Wallsz, said: “Accessing a CBILS loan was essential in supporting the survival of our company during this incredibly difficult time.

“Prior to this, we had experienced a bumper quarter and had built a strong order book, but the Covid- 19 outbreak meant we needed a funding boost to secure our cash flow position until we can start trading again.”

Small Business Minister Paul Scully said: “Throughout this crisis, we have backed business of all sizes in the West Midlands, and in every corner of the UK. The schemes put in place by the government-owned British Business Bank have provided some much-needed breathing space for businesses as they deal with the challenges posed by coronavirus.

“Government support has helped firms right across the West Midlands, not just in keeping businesses going but now enabling thousands to bounce back in a safe, Covid-secure manner.”

To find out more:

·         See national press release here

·         A constituency-level breakdown of lending under CBILS and BBLS is available here