UK government has announced the launch of its Bounce Back loan scheme to help small businesses make it through the coronavirus outbreak.

Small business owners and sole traders can apply for the 100% government-backed loans, which enable them to borrow between £2,000 and £50,000, with the cash “arriving within days”.

The loans are available through a network of accredited lenders, including the five largest banks, and businesses can apply by filling out a simple online form with only seven questions.

The UK 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.

It has also agreed with lenders that an affordable flat rate of 2.5% interest will be charged on these loans, and any business that has already taken out a Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan of £50,000 or less can apply to have these switched over to the new scheme.

Rishi Sunak, the chancellor of the exchequer, 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.”

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.

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

Find out more about the Bounce Back Loan Scheme here.