Grant support for businesses and self-employed people in South West passes £2billion mark

Businesses and self-employed people in the South West have received over £2billion in government grants to support them through the coronavirus pandemic, according to new data released.

Businesses have received £1.36billion and the self-employed £706million via grants that do not need to be paid back.

Meanwhile, businesses across the region have received £3.34billion in coronavirus loans.

The data shows that Devon has received the most in all three categories – £320million in grants for businesses, £158million in grants for the self-employed (Self-Employment Income Support Scheme) and £722million in loans (Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme and Bounce Back Loan Scheme).

The data highlights how all 55 constituencies in the South West have benefitted from an unprecedented package of support to protect lives and livelihoods.

Meanwhile, this week the UK government-owned British Business Bank issued its 75,000th loan through its Start Up Loans programme.

Since its launch in 2012, the bank has issued £50.8million in loans to 6,214 small businesses and entrepreneurs in the South West, at an average of £8,179 each.

Over £623million in loans has been issued across the country.

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. 

Across North Devon, this has meant:

  • Self-employed people in North Devon have accessed £15,700,000 worth of Government grants, which do not need to be paid back, to cover lost earnings.
  • £51,156,098 has been paid out to local businesses in the form of Bounce Back Loans, which provides loans of up to £50,000 within days of an application.
  • £42,508,500 worth of grants has been handed out to businesses in North Devon, which do not need to be paid back.

Commenting, Selaine said: 

“Small businesses in North Devon are the backbone of our local economy, and this Government has long been committed to giving them all the support they need to flourish and thrive.

“With over £125 million of funding provided during the pandemic for small businesses here, this lifeline, as well as the Start Up Loans scheme, has been vital for those who may otherwise have struggled and will help to drive investment here, boosting our local economy.

“As we build Britain back better in the months ahead, I will continue to work to give our local entrepreneurs and innovators 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.”