Extension of emergency loan scheme hailed as a lifeline for the voluntary sector

The Chancellor’s extension of the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme for all businesses until the end of November has been greeted as “a lifeline” for the voluntary sector.

Stephen Muers, interim chief executive of Big Society Capital, said the organisation was delighted by the decision, which was announced by Rishi Sunak on Thursday.

“Without this extension, we could have potentially seen up to one in 10 charities cease their operations before the end of the year,” said Muers. 

“In the short term, this extension will provide social enterprises and charities with additional time to secure much-needed finance. We welcome the fact that the government is exploring a successor loan guarantee scheme.”

Earlier this week, a coalition of social investors, including BSC, asked the government to provide an extra six weeks for charities and social enterprises to apply for funds from the scheme beyond the 30 September deadline.

The investors said many third sector organisations had delayed asking for loans from the CBILS because they had put in applications for grants from other sources. 

But many would not know the outcome of those grant applications until after the previous deadline, they said, by which time it would be too late to access CBILS funds if their grant requests had failed. 

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