Smaller independent agencies that took out government Bounce Back loans to help them through the Coronavirus crisis now have more time to repay.
The Treasury announced over the weekend that companies would be contacted from today, Monday, with options to extend the length of the loan from six to 10 years as part of a new ‘pay-as-you-grow’ initiative.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak says some £45 billion has been borrowed by over 1.4m small companies getting sums from £2,000 to £50,000.
Under the existing scheme, firms get interest-free loans for the first year with many scheduled to start repaying in May.
However, the new proposals give businesses three new options:
1. Extending the length of the loan from six years to 10;
2. Making interest-only payments for six months, then repaying the principal on a phased basis with other interest-only periods;
3. Delaying repayments entirely for up to six months.
Sunak says: "Businesses are continuing to feel the impact of extended disruption from Covid-19, and we're determined to give them the backing and confidence they need to get through the pandemic.
"That's why we're giving Bounce Back Loan borrowers breathing space to get back on their feet, through greater flexibility and time to repay their loans on their terms."