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Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme

Updated: 7th April 2020

On 20th March 2020, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, announced several measures to help businesses across the UK who will be affected by the Covid-19 coronavirus.

The situation is changing rapidly. This was the third significant announcement by the Chancellor in 10 days. Subscribe to our Covid-19 newsletter below to keep yourself updated. The extract below is taken directly from the government website. If you need further details, please email your contact at Jack Ross who can provide more information.

The new Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) supports SMEs with access to working capital (including loans, overdrafts, invoice finance and asset finance) of up to £5 million in value and for up to 6 years.

The CBILS scheme is interest and fee free for 12 months. The government will pay to cover the first 12 months of interest payments and any lender-levied fees, so smaller businesses will not face any upfront costs and will benefit from lower initial repayments.

The government will provide lenders with a guarantee of 80% on each loan (subject to a per-lender cap on claims) to give lenders further confidence in continuing to provide finance to SMEs.

This scheme is being delivered through commercial lenders, backed by the British Business Bank.


You are eligible for the scheme if:

  • your business is UK based, with turnover of no more than £45 million per year
  • your business meets the other British Business Bank eligibility criteria

How to access the scheme

The scheme is now open for applications. To apply, you should talk to your bank or one of the 40 accredited finance providers (not the British Business Bank) as soon as possible, to discuss your business plan. You can find out the latest on the best ways to contact them via their websites.

All major banks are offering this scheme. If you have an existing loan with monthly repayments you may want to ask for a repayment holiday to help with cash flow.

The full rules of the scheme and the list of accredited lenders are available on the British Business Bank website.

The high-level eligibility criteria are:

  • Be UK-based in its business activity, with annual turnover of no more than £45m
  • Have a borrowing proposal which, were it not for the current pandemic, would be considered viable by the lender, and for which the lender believes the provision of finance will enable the business to trade out of any short-to-medium term difficulty.
  • The following trades and organisations are not eligible to apply: Banks, Building Societies, Insurers and Reinsurers (but not insurance brokers); The public sector including state funded primary and secondary schools; Employer, professional, religious or political membership organisation or trade unions.

To apply for the scheme you will need provide the following information and indicate on the application form that the business has been negatively impacted by the disruption caused by Covid-19.

  • Last 6 months business bank statements
  • Latest year end accounts
  • Up to date management information*
  • Completed application form (attached

*Up to date management information might include:

  • Year-to-date Profit and Loss statement
  • Year-to-date Balance sheet
  • Cash flow or Profit and Loss Forecast for the next 12 months

Please consider the following guidance regarding the maximum facility amount a borrower is eligible for and ensure the supporting evidence with the application is provided:

  • No more than double the annual (2019) wage bill of the business (including contractor costs and social charges (e.g. NI)).


  • 25% of the total turnover (2019).

or, if needed,

  • with appropriate justification and based on a self-certification by the business of its liquidity needs, the liquidity needs of the business from the moment of granting for the coming 18 months.

If you need Jack Ross to help you make an application, we are happy to provide this service. Please email your usual contact at Jack Ross.

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