MP WELCOMES GOVERNMENT INVESTMENT IN WEALDEN’S SMALL BUSINESSES 

Nus Ghani, MP for Wealden, has welcomed the announcement that the UK Government-owned British Business Bank has issued its 75,000th loan through its Start Up Loans programme, marking more than £623 million invested in small businesses across the UK since its launch in 2012.

Across the South East, 6,752 loans have been made so far to small businesses and entrepreneurs, totalling £60.4 million. This means that thousands of people have benefited from UK Government backed support where they may otherwise have struggled to access it.

Of the people who have received a loan since 2012, 40% were women, one in five came from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities (BAME), and one third were unemployed when they applied for the loan, reflecting the diversity of the UK start up community.

The Start Up Loans scheme has benefited every region and country in the UK and underscores the Government’s commitment to level up and improve opportunities across every part of the United Kingdom as we continue our recovery from coronavirus. 

The 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% to 5%, and a 12-month business rates holiday for sectors which are struggling with cashflow issues.

Across Wealden, this has meant:

  • Self-employed people in Wealden have accessed £18.4 million worth of Government grants, which do not need to be paid back, to cover lost earnings.
  • £60.6 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. 
  • £26.9 million worth of grants has been handed out to businesses in Wealden, which do not need to be paid back. 

Nus Ghani said: “Small businesses in Wealden are the backbone of our local economy and I welcome the Government’s commitment to giving them all the support they need to flourish and thrive. Our Start Up Loans scheme has now provided £60.4 million worth of investment and support to thousands of small businesses and entrepreneurs across the South East, including for those who may otherwise have struggled to access it, helping to drive investment and boost our local economy."

"Throughout the pandemic, I have hosted many virtual meetings with individuals and businesses across Wealden to support them in accessing grants and loans. I am in regular contact with Wealden District Council leaders and I am pleased to see the great work of Wealden Council in supporting local businesses. 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 local jobs.”