Free loans offered for flooded businesses

floods in Kent Image copyright PA
Image caption Businesses like this caravan park in Kent have been hit by flooding

Businesses affected by flooding around the UK are being offered interest-free loans to help them get back on their feet.

Hundreds of shops and companies across the south of England are still recovering from torrential rain over the last few weeks.

Now Nat West and RBS have launched a fund worth £250m to provide short-term loans for those affected.

The bank said the loans will be interest-free for up to three months.

The maximum amount available to any one business will be £250,000.

The money will be lent to any business which has been affected by the flooding, not just existing customers of the bank.

It can be used for repairs, or else to replace damaged stock.

"Many firms have taken a real hit to their livelihood," said Chris Sullivan, the chief executive of the Natwest/RBS Corporate Bank.

"We're making additional support available because we know how important it is to the local economy and communities to get these businesses operational again," he added.

Some local authorities have also pledged money to help, such as Somerset County Council, which has promised £250,000 to those who have been hit.

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