Expansion of emergency loan program hailed as lifeline for voluntary sector

The Chancellor’s extension of the coronavirus business interruption loan program for all businesses until the end of November has been hailed as “a lifeline” for the voluntary sector.

Stephen Muers, acting chief executive of Big Society Capital, said the organization was delighted with the move, announced by Rishi Sunak on Thursday.

“Without this extension, we could have seen up to one in 10 charities go out of business before the end of the year,” Muers said.

“In the short term, this extension will give social enterprises and charities more time to get the funding they need so badly. We welcome the fact that the government is exploring a new loan guarantee system. “

Earlier this week, a coalition of social investors, including BSC, called on the government to grant an additional six weeks for charities and social enterprises to apply for funds for the program beyond the September 30 deadline.

Investors said many third-sector organizations have been slow to apply for loans from CBILS because they have applied for grants from other sources.

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

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