A leading business support organisation has revealed loans worth over £670 million have been given to firms in Coventry and Warwickshire during Covid-19.
Figures from the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP) Growth Hub highlight that 17,464 loans have been offered to businesses in the area throughout the Coronavirus pandemic totalling over £678 million.
The loans were given by the Government through the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) and the Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS) and administered through accredited lenders and partners.
Figures released by the CWLEP Growth Hub show that businesses in Stratford-on-Avon had the highest amount of loans in Coventry and Warwickshire of £107,255,283 which reached 2,597 businesses.
The second highest was 2,140 loans being offered to firms in the Coventry South constituency amounting to £91,641,973 and 2,075 loans being offered in Warwick and Leamington totalling £88,148,631.
They were followed by 2,205 loans offered in Coventry North East (£76,797,476), 1,599 in North Warwickshire (£72,377,636), 1,956 loans in Rugby (£68,397,048), 1,806 in Kenilworth and Southam (£65,581,731), 1,656 loans in Coventry North West (£55,713,903) and 1,430 loans in Nuneaton (£52,710,849).
Craig Humphrey, the managing director of the CWLEP Growth Hub, said the figures indicated the high level of support businesses had needed throughout the area to survive Covid-19.
“The package of support from the Government has been taken up in the form of CBILS or BBLS by small businesses across our patch who saw their revenue and cash flow severely affected by the Coronavirus pandemic,” he said.
“The high number of businesses asking for support from the south of our area indicates the need of the culture, tourism, hospitality and leisure sector in Stratford-on-Avon which has been devasted in recent months.
“Providing this level of financial support throughout Coventry and Warwickshire has enabled businesses to carry on trading, look at alternative revenue streams such as switching to online sales and needing to improve their digital infrastructure, or use it for working capital.
“Being able to access finance quickly has been needed by SMEs who often don’t have huge cash reserves and had to react to the rapidly-changing financial situation they found themselves in, often by having to close their premises.
“The Chancellor has extended the CBILS and BBLS until November 30 this year and more SMEs than ever are now able to access the funding which increases the number of businesses that are eligible for the schemes.
“This financial support is in addition to the grants given out by local councils and I know that our local authorities swung into action very quickly and got the money where it was needed.”
Cllr Tony Jefferson, leader of Stratford-on-Avon District Council, said: “The level of support provided to Stratford-on-Avon District has been fantastic. They have enabled many businesses to survive a very challenging time. Without them the situation on unemployment would have been much more fraught. The next few months will remain challenging though.”