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Spring Budget 2024: RLS to be extended

That's good news for small businesses who struggle to access finance and the lender like BEF, who are ready to support them.

In yesterday's Spring Budget, chancellor Jeremy Hunt pledged to extend the Recovery Loan Scheme (RLS). The chancellor will allocate £200m to extend the RLS in order to support 11,000 small businesses to access finance. The scheme will be renamed the Growth Guarantee Scheme.

As a Community Development Finance Institution (CDFI), we welcome this announcement. Our mission to is open up access to finance for underserved small businesses. The RLS has proven effective at enabling us to support small businesses with loans to help them begin, expand, and flourish.

The extension was one of seven proposals that Responsible Finance, our trade body, submitted to the Treasury Select Committee’s Inquiry on SME Finance:

  1. Encourage mainstream finance to provide more affordable investment to CDFIs to lend to more SMEs, and grants for CDFIs to grow and develop their organisations.
  2. Establish a scheme dedicated to funding Community Lenders, run by the British Business Bank (BBB).
  3. Allocate Dormant Assets to Community Lenders across the UK to be used to lend onto SMEs at more affordable rates and catalyse greater private investment.
  4. Continue the loan guarantee scheme which has proven effective at enabling small businesses to access the loan finance they need.
  5. Endow legacy grant funds from the successful Responsible Finance Regional Growth Fund (RGF) programme to CDFIs.
  6. Improve the effectiveness of bank referrals to direct more declined applicants from banks to lenders such as CDFIs.
  7. Support awareness raising of CDFIs among potential SME borrowers.

The proposals aim to boost the availability of finance for fundable but underserved small businesses and break down barriers to economic growth.

Do you need a flexible finance to start or grow your business?

We offer a range of flexible finance loans designed to help your business access the funds it needs:

We are accredited to provide RLS-backed loans from £25,001 to £250,000. Businesses can use the finance for a wide range of purposes including filling gaps in working capital, funding expansion projects, leasing commercial premises and asset acquisitions.

Do I qualify for a RLS loan?

We've supported hundreds of businesses with RLS-backed loans. Contact us to discuss how we can help your business.

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