MPs hail success of government’s emergency support for business

Oct 19, 2020

Rishi Sunak, Chancellor of the Exchequer, addresses Parliament.

BUSINESSES in Milton Keynes have received almost £262 million worth of loans from the government as emergency coronavirus support.

The figure of £261,856,208 includes 6,401 Bounce Back Loans worth £191,469,880. The scheme ensures that small firms who need vital cash injections to keep operating can get finance in a matter of days, with no repayments due during the first 12 months.

A total 288 loans have been offered in Milton Keynes at a value of £69,286,328 through the Coronavirus Business Interruption Scheme. This scheme has helped small and medium-sized businesses to access loans and other kinds of finance up to £5 million.

Milton Keynes North MP Ben Everitt said: “This level of support from the government has been extremely welcome. We have so many fantastic businesses in the city and this money can ensure Milton Keynes remains a hub for business into the future.

“I am continuing to work with local businesses and the government to understand what further support is needed in Milton Keynes.”

MPs Iain Stewart (left) and Ben Everitt.

Iain Stewart, MP for Milton Keynes South, added: “This year has been hugely challenging for businesses in Milton Keynes but these latest figures demonstrate the scale of support that the Conservative government has put in place to protect livelihoods and businesses.

“Never has the Conservatives’ agenda to level up the whole county been so important and we will continue to focus on supporting hard-working families across Milton Keynes.”

Rishi Sunak, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, has announced that the government’s Job Support Scheme will be expanded to protect jobs and support businesses required to close their doors as a result of new coronavirus restrictions, alongside increasing the cash grants to businesses in England required to shut in local lockdowns to support with fixed costs, worth up to £3,000 per month.

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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Funding ‘lifeline’ awarded £56 million to Bedford businesses

FIGURES released by Bedford Borough Council show that it has awarded £56 million of support to businesses affected by the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown and restrictions.

This includes £29.5 million in cash grants and £26.5 million in relief from paying business rates, provided by the government and administered by the Council.

When the business support grant scheme was brought to an end nationally on September 30, Bedford Borough Council had provided cash grants to over 2,600 businesses. Over 2,000 businesses received grants of £10,000 each, while a further nearly 300 retail, leisure and hospitality businesses received grants of £25,000 each.

Bedford businesses received £26.5 million in relief from business rates

The £29.5 million also includes a discretionary grant fund, which the council used to award grants from £250 to £10,000 to over 300 smaller businesses that would not otherwise automatically have received business support.

Alongside these grants retail, leisure and hospitality businesses were given a business rates holiday by the government as the body that sets business rates. In total, the council has now awarded £26.5million in business rate relief to over 950 businesses.

Cllr Michael Headley, portfolio holder for finance, said: “Lockdown had a huge impact with many local businesses required to close or follow restrictions to keep themselves and our communities safe.

“This funding offered a lifeline for businesses to keep going and we worked hard to make sure that as many Bedford Borough businesses as possible received this financial support. 

“Council staff and councillors made extra efforts to make sure that businesses eligible for this government support were tracked down and contacted by whatever means possible, even when the premises were closed so that they did not miss out.”

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