The government's coronavirus (COVID-19) emergency loan guarantee schemes may have saved between 150,000 and 500,000 businesses, according to research from the British Business Bank (BBB).
The research also estimated that the loans have helped save between 500,000 and 2.9 million jobs.
In March 2020, in response to the global pandemic, the government deployed three loan-guarantee schemes. They were the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS), the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS) and the Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS).
According to the BBB's research, between 10% and 34% of BBLS borrowers and between 7% and 28% of CBILS/CLBILS borrowers could have permanently ceased trading in 2020 without the schemes.
Catherine Lewis La Torre, CEO of the BBB, said: 'The COVID-19 emergency loan schemes were designed to address a drastically altered economic landscape for smaller businesses as lockdowns took effect.
'This evaluation is the first indication of just how important those schemes were in saving livelihoods, businesses and hundreds of thousands of jobs, and we are proud to have played a vital role in their delivery.'