Unsustainable debt may stifle recovery The Business Growth Fund is set to take stakes in growing SMEs to boost their survival chances during the pandemic, with the first investments of the £15bn National Renewal Fund expected to be made in the first quarter of 2021. But Stephen Welton, head of the BGF, warned the legacy of Covid could "materially affect the economy for generations". He said: "We're going to face the perfect storm of company failures, so increasing insolvencies and unemployment, combined with zombie companies that can survive but are just surviving to pay interest. Those two together will completely handicap the economy in terms of its ability to recover." Separately, Sir Adrian Montague, head of the TheCityUK Recapitalisation Group, estimates that unsustainable corporate debt in the UK will hit £70bn by the end of March 2021 placing a "heavy drag" on the recovery.