More than 90% of the guaranteed facilities under the British Business Bank’s (BBB) third Recovery Loan Scheme (RLS) have supported businesses with fewer than 50 employees.

Today, the Bank published the first performance data for this iteration, which was launched in August 2022 to promote sustainable, accessible funding for UK smaller businesses.

The scheme has offered close to £1.4 billion in total lending, with more than 6,000 smaller businesses drawing over £1.15 billion in finance to date.

Key Findings:

  • Support for Small Businesses: Over 90% of the guaranteed facilities were allocated to businesses with fewer than 50 employees, with more than 65% going to businesses with fewer than 10 employees.
  • Revenue-Based Distribution: More than 87% of the guaranteed facilities were provided to businesses with less than £5 million turnover.
  • Purpose of Lending: Over 50% of the drawn lending was designated for business investment and growth, and a third for working capital.

Reinald de Monchy, Managing Director of Guarantee and Wholesale Solutions at the British Business Bank, stated: “The Recovery Loan Scheme was an important intervention at a critical time for UK smaller businesses.

“This data publication demonstrates its significance in delivering growth and working capital across our nations and regions. We are looking forward to its transition to the Growth Guarantee Scheme in Summer 2024.”

Covid and beyond

The Recovery Loan Scheme, a government-backed credit guarantee initiative, supports UK businesses with turnover up to £45 million, helping them access finance for various purposes, including managing cash flow, investing in new equipment or vehicles, supporting the transition to net zero, and growth through new products or expansion. The scheme can support facility sizes of up to £2 million for most UK businesses, with specific limits for those under the Northern Ireland Protocol.

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The first two phases of the scheme enabled £4.3 billion of finance, aiding UK businesses in recovering from the Covid-19 pandemic. The Chancellor of the Exchequer announced in the Spring Budget 2024 that the scheme, originally due to end on 30 June 2024, would be extended for two years until 31 March 2026 and renamed the Growth Guarantee Scheme.

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