We want to make the UK the best place to start and grow a business, and it should not matter where in the UK that is. The start-up loans programme has helped more people to realise their dream of starting a business, with more than 72,000 loans, worth £591 million, since 2012. During 2018-19, our growth hubs helped more than 9,500 business starts in England, and through programmes operated by the Government-backed British Business Bank we are currently supporting more than £7.7 billion of finance to more than 94,900 small and medium- sized enterprises.
Start-up businesses are vital to our economic recovery. What more can the Government do to help the very smallest businesses access the right finance quickly to survive during and post covid-19?
I pay tribute to my right hon. Friend for the work that he has done with small businesses for many years, including when we were working with businesses together. I know that he continues that work. As part of the package of covid-19 recovery measures we created the bounce-back loans scheme, which targets small and microbusinesses in all sectors, providing loans from £2,000 up to 25% of the business’s turnover, with a maximum loan of £50,000. Applications are done via a simple online form. As of 7 June, 782,246 loans, worth £23.78 billion, have been approved.