07 Jul 2021The UK's businesses borrowed a total of £79.3 billion from the government's coronavirus (COVID-19) lending schemes, according to official figures. In total over 1.6 million loans were taken out under the Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS), Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) and the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS). The three schemes all closed on 31 March 2021 and the government has now published the final figures. The data shows that £47.4 billion was borrowed through the BBLS, £26.4 billion through the CBILS and £5.6 billion through the CLBILS. It also shows that the loans were evenly distributed across the whole of the UK. Catherine Lewis La Torre, Chief Executive Officer of the British Business Bank, said: 'The COVID-19 loan schemes have been an important part of the government's response to the pandemic, providing businesses with much-needed breathing space and reducing cashflow concerns for many. 'We're pleased to see evidence that they have helped smaller businesses right across the UK and look forward to helping more businesses to prosper and grow as we look towards economic recovery.'