Accessing the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme

Accessing the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme

ARTICLE · By Timber Trade Federation · 30 March 2020

The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) aims to ease disruption to cash flow by allowing UK businesses to access loans of up to £5 million.

The government will make a payment to cover any fees from lenders and cover the first 12 months of interest payments. This allows smaller businesses to avoid upfront costs and make lower initial repayments.  

Through the scheme the government will provide a guarantee of 80% on each loan free of charge, subject to certain conditions and restrictions 

The scheme is backed by the British Business Bank and will be delivered through commercial lenders. There are currently 40 accredited lenders that can deliver the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, including all the major banks.  

How long will this scheme run for?  

The scheme went live on Monday 23 March and will initially run for six months.  

Am I eligible?  

All UK based businesses with an annual turnover of below £45m can apply. It remains important your borrowing proposal is considered viable by the lender.  

The lender must believe this loan will enable your business to trade out of any short-to-medium term difficulty.  

How can I access the scheme?  

CBILS is available through the British Business Bank’s 40+ accredited lenders, which are listed on the British Business Bank website here 

In the first instance, you should approach your own provider – ideally via the lender’s website. You may also consider approaching other lenders if you are unable to access the finance you need.  

Are there fees to borrow under CBILS?  

There is no guarantee fee for SMEs to use the CBILS scheme. Instead, lenders will pay a fee to access the scheme.  

I am getting other kinds of aid to help respond to COVID-19 – can I still get a loan?  

Yes, you are still eligible for the loan scheme. Receiving business rate reliefs or grants unrelated to the CBIL scheme does not affect eligibility. For more information on the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, please visit the British Bank’s page and their website.