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What is the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme?

The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) is a government scheme to help small business in the UK that are affected by Covid-19 with up to £5 million in finance products.

These financial products include loans, overdrafts, invoice finance and asset finance.

How can I apply?

The first place you should try is your own business lender or bank. If you are refused then CBILS is also available through the British Business Bank’s accredited lenders, listed on The British Bank website.

The scheme is open until 31st March 2021.

What do I need?

You will need to self-certify that your business has been adversely impacted by Covid-19, and that if not for the current Coronavirus outbreak, your business is a legitimate and viable business.

Depending on your lender and the finance product required you may also need to provide business accounts, details of any business assets and historic accounting.

Am I eligible?

The main criteria is that you are a UK based business with an annual turnover of no more than £45 million.

What are the repayment terms?

For loans and asset finance – up to 6 years repayment term.

For overdrafts and invoice finance facilities – up to 3 years repayment term.

The Government will make a Business Interruption Payment to cover the first 12 months of interest payments and any lender fees.

Do I need to provide a guarantee?

For any finance facility under £250,000 lenders will not take any personal guarantees.

Anything above £250,000 and a lender may require a personal guarantee, but that excludes the Principal Private Residence, and recovery is capped at a maximum of 20% of the outstanding balance of the CBILS product after the proceeds of business assets have been applied.

Are sole traders eligible?

Yes, sole traders, freelancers, limited partnerships and other verifiable legal business entities can apply.

Important note

It is important to remember that this is not free money, you are responsible for all money borrowed, the government merely acts as a guarantor to the lender.

For more information on CBILS