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First evaluation of Covid-19 loan schemes published today

The British Business Bank have published our their assessment of the Covid-19 loan guarantee schemes.

In March 2020, in response to the global pandemic, we rapidly designed and deployed a series of three loan guarantee schemes – the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS), the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS) and Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS) – to support smaller businesses across the UK.

One year on, we commissioned London Economics and Ipsos to undertake a multi-year evaluation of the three schemes. The first phase of the evaluation, published today, provides an early assessment of whether the policy objectives of the schemes were satisfied, and their economic impact.

We are pleased to share the report finds that the Covid-19 loan guarantee schemes may have saved between 150,000 and 500,000 businesses and between 500,000 and 2.9m jobs, showing how important the schemes were in saving livelihoods, businesses and jobs.

Key Findings

  • Between 10-34% of BBLS borrowers and 7-28% of CBILS/CLBILS borrowers could have permanently ceased trading in 2020 without the schemes.

  • The Covid-19 loan guarantee schemes met their primary objectives of unlocking credit for businesses at scale and speed, and resulted in £78bn in guaranteed loan facilities.

  • Reduction of approval times between CBILS and BBLS was necessary to prevent business failures.

  • The most common uses of the funds were working capital and to provide financial security.

  • Common actions undertaken by borrowers since raising external finance from one of the schemes included the adoption or expansion of digital technologies, innovation activities or building business resilience.

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