What is it?
The temporary Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme supports small and medium-sized businesses with access to loans, overdrafts, invoice finance and asset finance of up to £5 million and for up to six years.
The Government will also make a Business Interruption Payment to cover the first 12 months of interest payments and any lender-levied fees, so smaller businesses will benefit from no upfront costs and lower initial repayments.
The scheme will be delivered through commercial lenders, backed by the Government-owned British Business Bank.
There are 40 accredited lenders able to offer the scheme, including all the major banks.
Am I eligible?
Your business must:
1. Be UK-based in its business activity
2. Have an annual turnover of no more than £45 million
3. Have a borrowing proposal which the lender:
a) would consider viable, were it not for the COVID-19 pandemic
b) believes will enable you to trade out of any short-term to medium-term difficulty
Businesses from any sector can apply, except the following:
- Banks and building societies
- Insurers and reinsurers (but not insurance brokers)
- Public-sector organisations, including state-funded primary and secondary schools
- Employer, professional, religious or political membership organisations
- Trade unions
Please visit the British Business Bank website for more information and to view their eligibility checklist.
How do I access it?
You should apply via your lender’s website or through one of the 40 accredited finance providers offering the scheme (and not the British Business Bank). The lender has the authority to decide whether to offer you finance. If it can do so on normal commercial terms without having to make use of the scheme, it will. The Big Four banks have agreed that they will not take personal guarantees as security for lending below £250,000.
Please note that branches may currently be shut down to enable social distancing. There is high demand for CBILS facilities. Phone lines are likely to be busy and branches may not be able to handle enquiries in person.
The full rules of the Scheme and the list of accredited lenders is available on the British Business Bank website.
When can I access it?
The scheme is now open for applications. All major banks are offering this scheme.