Businesses and self-employed people in Devon receive £480million in Covid grants

Businesses and self-employed people in Devon have received £480million in government grants to support them through the coronavirus pandemic, new data shows.

Businesses have received £321million and the self-employed £159million via grants that do not need to be paid back.

Meanwhile, businesses have secured £722million in coronavirus loans.

Devon has received more than any other county in the region in all three funding categories.

The data highlights how all 12 constituencies in Devon have benefitted from an unprecedented package of support to protect lives and livelihoods.

North Devon has received the most in grants for businesses (£42.5million), Torridge and West Devon the most in grants for the self-employed (£16.7million) and Totnes the most in loans (£77.6million).

Across the South West, businesses and self-employed people have now received over £2billion in grants.

Meanwhile, this week the UK government-owned British Business Bank issued its 75,000th loan through its Start Up Loans programme.

Since its launch in 2012, the bank has issued £50.8million in loans to 6,214 small businesses and entrepreneurs in the South West, at an average of £8,179 each.

Over £623million in loans has been issued across the country.

Business Secretary Alok Sharma said: “The Start Up Loans programme was set up by the government-owned British Business Bank to give funding and support to entrepreneurs who might otherwise struggle to access it, making a real difference to tens of thousands of entrepreneurs across the country.

“Our plan to build back better will level up every region and sector of the UK economy, backing makers, doers and innovators regardless of background.

“As well as finance, every loan recipient is offered a support package, including access to a free expert business mentor for 12 months to help them with every aspect of setting up a business.”

The Exeter Daily