New figures show businesses in Somerset have benefitted from £652million worth of loans to help protect and support jobs since the start of the Coronavirus outbreak.

This includes over 16,900 Bounce Back Loans worth £474million. These are 100% government-backed loans which are interest-free for the first 12 months.

This scheme ensures small firms that need vital cash injections to keep operating can get finance in a matter of days, with no repayments due during the first 12 months.

Also, over 800 loans worth £178million have been offered via the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS).

This scheme has helped small and medium-sized businesses to access loans and other kinds of finance up to £5million.

In Somerset, a total of 17,744 loans worth £651,881,921 have supported businesses across all sectors, protecting jobs and livelihoods.

Constituency-wise, Wells – which includes the Burnham-On-Sea area – is the biggest recipient in the county with £84million, followed by Taunton Deane (£82million), Somerton and Frome (£81million) and North Somerset (£76million).

Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced last Friday that the government’s Job Support Scheme would be expanded to protect jobs and support businesses that are required to close their doors due to coronavirus restrictions.

Mr Sunak is also increasing cash grants to businesses in England that are required to shut in local lockdowns to assist with fixed costs – worth up to £3,000 per month.

So far, the government has provided over £200billion throughout its economic response to coronavirus to support jobs and businesses in the UK.

Mr Sunak said: “Our support for businesses and workers has provided a lifeline to employers up and down the country, supporting people to stay in jobs and protecting livelihoods.”

“We will build on this as we move to the next stage of our recovery through the Winter Economy Plan, which will continue to protect jobs and help businesses through the months ahead.”


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