Thousands of entrepreneurs across the region have benefited from UK Government backed support where they may otherwise have struggled to access it. As Co-Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Fair Business Banking who has campaigned tirelessly throughout the pandemic to ensure businesses can access support quickly I am delighted that the UK Government-owned British Business Bank has issued its 75,000th loan through its Start Up Loans programme. This brings the total to more than £623 million of investment in small businesses across the UK since its launch in 2012. Across Yorkshire and the Humber 6,332 loans have been made so far to small businesses and entrepreneurs, totalling nearly £55million with the average loan being £8,665.
I would like to pay tribute to ministers who have 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 Thirsk and Malton self-employed people have accessed nearly £15.5 million worth of Government grants, which do not need to be paid back, to cover lost earnings. A further £56.4 million 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 and £41.7 million worth of grants has been handed out to businesses which do not need to be paid back.
Small businesses in Thirsk and Malton are the backbone of our local economy, and this Conservative Government has long been committed to giving them all the support they need to flourish and thrive. Our Start Up Loans scheme has now provided £55million worth of investment and support to thousands of small businesses and entrepreneurs across Yorkshire and Humber, including for those who may otherwise have struggled to get off the ground helping to drive investment here and boost 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.”