Smaller travel businesses can now benefit from an extension of the government’s Covid-19 loan scheme.
Under the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (Cbils), firms can take out loans of up to £5 million but eligibility was originally restricted due to the EU’s strict state aid rules.
But the government has now made the scheme available to companies with under 50 employees and an annual turnover of below £9 million, after lobbying the EU to relax the eligibility rules during the Covid-19 crisis.
Small business minister Paul Scully said: “We have stood by business throughout this crisis, and today’s announcement will mean that even more small firms will be able to access much-needed financial support.
“Small businesses will play a vital role as we seek to recover our way of life and get the economy moving again, and it is essential we continue to support them through this difficult period.”
So far during the crisis, the government has given around £50 billion in Cbils loans 57,000 companies in the UK to help them through the pandemic.
Chris Wilford, head of financial services policy at business organisation CBI, said: “This is an important step that will help more businesses get the critical support they need.
“These eligibility hurdles have been a real stumbling block for many firms across the UK throughout the crisis. These were put in place to avoid governments bailing out failing companies, but those rules were established in normal times.”