A hand-up for start-ups: 33,000 new loans for small businesses.

An £884 million loan scheme for new businesses is to be expanded delivering support to the UK’s innovative start-ups.

The Start Up Loans programme has provided more than 95,000 loans to start-ups across the UK since its inception in June 2012 offering an average of just over £9,000 in support.

With 33,000 new loans available the programme’s eligibility will be expanded to support businesses trading for up to 3 years up from 2 years. Businesses can apply immediately under the new criteria.

Start Up Loans provide a fixed interest rate of 6 per cent, as well as mentoring, support and funding to aspiring business owners across the UK, providing support to those who might find it difficult to secure loans from traditional lenders.

Alongside this, a new second loan will be available to businesses operating for up to five years.

Harrogate and Knaresborough MP Andrew Jones said: “Before I was elected as an MP I worked in businesses – latterly for Bettys and Taylors. In my professional life I have started businesses and so I know just how valuable support is in the early days. These start up loans will provide added security during that time. Small businesses grow and, collectively, they employ more people than all our big businesses put together. That is why these start up loans are so important.”