The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) provides financial support to smaller businesses affected by coronavirus (COVID-19).
The scheme helps small and medium-sized businesses to access loans and other kinds of finance up to £5 million.
The government guarantees 80% of the finance to the lender and pays interest and any fees for the first 12 months.
If you’re a larger business, you may be entitled to other government support.
You can apply for a loan if your business:
- is based in the UK
- has an annual turnover of up to £45 million
You need to show that your business:
- would be viable were it not for the pandemic
- has been adversely impacted by the coronavirus
If you want to borrow £30,000 or more, you also need to confirm that your business wasn’t classed as a business in difficulty on 31 December 2019.
Who cannot apply
Businesses from any sector can apply, except:
- banks, insurers and reinsurers (but not insurance brokers)
- public-sector bodies
- state-funded primary and secondary schools
How long the loan is for
The maximum length of the facility depends on the type of finance you apply for and will be:
- up to 3 years for overdrafts and invoice finance facilities
- up to 6 years, for loans and asset finance facilities
How to apply
There are over 50 lenders participating in the scheme including all the main retail banks. You should approach a suitable lender yourself via the lender’s website.
You’ll need to tell the lender:
- the amount you’d like to borrow
- what the money is for
- how long you’d like to pay it back
You’ll need to provide documents that show you can afford to repay the loan.
These may include:
- management accounts
- cash flow forecast
- business plan
- historic accounts
- details of assets
The documents required will vary from lender to lender and depend on how much you’re asking for. If you’re asking your existing lender for a small loan, the process may be automated and not require all of the documents.
The lender will check that the loan is:
- for a suitable business purpose
- affordable for you
- the right type of finance for your needs
The lender will decide whether to offer you a loan or another type of finance and you’ll be responsible for repaying 100% of the amount borrowed.
If the lender turns you down
If one lender turns you down, you can apply to other lenders in the scheme.
You may want to consider using a broker to find the right type of finance for your needs, or do your own research using the British Business Bank’s finance guide.