How to access the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme

One of the most significant business support measures launched as part of the response to the Coronavirus crisis is the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS).

According to the government, the scheme is designed to: ‘support SMEs with access to loans, overdrafts, invoice finance and asset finance of up to £5 million and for up to 6 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.’

What’s the latest on the scheme?

  • According to the BBC website, the latest developments relating to the CBILS include:
    Applications will not be limited to businesses that have been refused a loan on commercial terms, extending the number who benefit. However, the Treasury has not capped the interest rates banks can charge.
  • Banks will be banned from asking company owners to guarantee loans with their own savings or property when borrowing up to £250,000

There are 40 accredited lenders able to offer the scheme, including all the major banks.

How do I apply?

The scheme is now open and is expected to run at least up until 30 September 2020. According to advice given by the British Business Bank (BBB), the process for application is as follows:

  1. Find a lender – click here to see the accredited lenders involved.
  2. Approach a lender – You should approach a lender yourself, ideally via the lender’s website.
  3. The lender makes a decision – The lender has the authority to decide whether to offer you finance.
  4. If the lender turns you down – If one lender turns you down, you can still approach other lenders within the scheme.

Is my company eligible?

According to the BBB, your business must:

  • Be UK-based in its business activity.
  • Have an annual turnover of no more than £45 million.
  • Have a borrowing proposal which the lender would consider viable, were it not for the current pandemic.
  • Self-certify that it has been adversely impacted by the Coronavirus.

NB: Recent announcements on the BBC also say that: ‘Larger firms with a turnover of up to £500m will also be eligible for more help – with state-backed loans of up to £25m available to firms with revenues of between £45m-500m.’

What information will I need to provide?

You will need to provide certain evidence to show that you can afford to repay the loan. According to the BBB, this is likely to include:

  • Management accounts
  • Cash flow forecast
  • Business plan
  • Historic accounts
  • Details of assets

For more information and support and to see how G+S can help your business at this challenging time contact:

Pete Seymour (Hotel and Leisure)


Keith Watters, Partner (Head of Commercial Agency)