Local MP Antony Higginbotham has welcomed the announcement that the UK Government-owned British Business Bank has issued its 75,000th loan through its Start Up Loans programme, marking more than £623 million invested in small businesses across the UK since its launch in 2012.
Across the North West 9,219 loans have been made so far to small businesses and entrepreneurs, totalling almost £75 million with the average loan being just over £8,000 – meaning that thousands of people have benefited from UK Government backed support where they may otherwise have struggled to access it.
And in Burnley that has resulted in 143 loans being issued to start-up businesses totalling almost £1 million.
Of the people who have received a loan since 2012, 40 per cent were women, one in five came from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities (BAME), and one third were unemployed when they applied for the loan, reflecting the diversity of the UK start up community.
The Start Up Loans scheme has benefited every region and country in the UK, and underscores the government’s commitment to level up and improve opportunities across every part of the United Kingdom as we continue our recovery from coronavirus.
The Conservative Government has already provided a huge and unprecedented package of support for businesses through this difficult time, including providing income support for self-employed workers, Bounce Back Loans of up to £50,000 for businesses experiencing financial difficulties, grants of up to £25,000 for the industries and small businesses which have been hardest hit by the coronavirus outbreak, a temporary cut in VAT for the tourism and hospitality sectors from 20 per cent to 5 per cent, and a 12-month business rates holiday for sectors which are struggling with cashflow issues.
Commenting, Antony Higginbotham MP said:
Small businesses in Burnley and Padiham are the backbone of our local economy, and this Conservative Government has long been committed to giving them all the support they need to flourish and thrive. Our Start Up Loans scheme has now provided a huge amount of investment and support to thousands of small businesses and entrepreneurs across our area and the wider North West, including for those who may otherwise have struggled to access it, helping to drive investment here and boost our local economy. As we build Britain back better in the months ahead, we need to find the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs and give them all the support they need to keep them in business so they can create and protect jobs.
Business Secretary Alok Sharma said:
The Start Up Loans programme was set up by the government-owned British Business Bank to give funding and support to entrepreneurs who might otherwise struggle to access it, making a real difference to tens of thousands of entrepreneurs across the country. Our plan to build back better will level up every region and sector of the UK economy, backing makers, doers and innovators regardless of background. As well as finance, every loan recipient is offered a support package, including access to a free expert business mentor for 12 months to help them with every aspect of setting up a business.