SMALL businesses across the UK can now apply for simplified loans - with cash arriving within days.

The UK Government’s bounce back loans scheme has been launched today, making between £2,000 and £50,000 available for small firms and sole traders.

Thousands of small companies – including hairdressers, coffee shops and florists – will be eligible for the 100% government-backed loans to ease the pressure during the economic shutdown.

From 9am this morning, small business owners can apply to accredited lenders by filling out a simple online form, with only seven questions.

The UK Government has also agreed with lenders that an affordable flat rate of 2.5% interest will be charged on these loans. 

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Chancellor Rishi Sunak said: “Small businesses will play a key role creating jobs and securing economic growth as we recover from the coronavirus pandemic.

“The bounce back loan scheme will make sure they get the finance they need - helping them bounce back and protect jobs.”

As part of the scheme, small businesses can borrow between £2,000 and £50,000. The government will provide lenders with a 100% guarantee and cover the cost of any fees and interest for the borrower for the first 12 months. 

No repayments will be due during this period to enable firms to get back on their feet.

The loans are available through a network of lenders, including the five largest banks.

UK Business Secretary Alok Sharma said: “We are backing small businesses, which are the backbone of our communities, with the support they need to stay afloat.

“This new scheme of 100% government-guaranteed loans gives owners of even the smallest businesses the confidence and flexibility to borrow a sum which works for them."  

He added: "This will help ensure they can continue to trade, and be a key part of our efforts to reboot the British economy.”