Coronavirus: Financial
support for businesses

Coronavirus: Financial
support for businesses

Learn more about the different types of financial support available for businesses operating during the coronavirus outbreak and direct you to where you can find more information.

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS)

CBILS can provide facilities of up to £5 million for smaller businesses (SMEs) across the UK that are losing revenue, and seeing their cashflow disrupted, as a result of the current coronavirus pandemic.

The scheme provides the lender with a government-backed guarantee, potentially enabling a “no” credit decision from a lender to become a “yes”.

Lenders will not take personal guarantees of any form for facilities below £250,000. For facilities above £250,000, personal guarantees may still be required, at a lender’s discretion, but:

  • they exclude the Principal Private Residence (PPR), and
  • recoveries under these are capped at a maximum of 20% of the outstanding balance of the CBILS facility after the proceeds of business assets have been applied

Delivered by the British Business Bank through more than 40 accredited lenders, CBILS will support the continued provision of finance to UK SMEs during the coronavirus outbreak.

There is no fee for SMEs to access the scheme. The Government will make a Business Interruption Payment to cover the first 12 months of interest payments and any facility arrangement fees the lender charges.

Access to the scheme has been opened up to those smaller businesses that would have previously met the requirements for a commercial facility but would not have been eligible for CBILS. Insufficient security is no longer a condition to access the scheme.


To be eligible for a facility under CBILS, an SME must:

  • be UK-based in its business activity
  • have a turnover of no more than £45 million
  • have a borrowing proposal which the lender would consider viable, were it not for the current pandemic

CBILS is just one of a number of measures the Government has announced. You can find full details of the measures to support public services, people and businesses through this period of disruption caused by the coronavirus here

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

Under this scheme, the Government will cover 80% of the salary of PAYE employees who would otherwise have lost their jobs due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Due to begin in April, the scheme is open to all employers and will cover wages backdated to 1 March 2020. It will continue for at least three months.

Cash grants from local authorities

The Government announced two cash grants for small businesses, available from local authorities.

Local authorities will inform small businesses if they are eligible for the grant — businesses should not need to make a claim.

£10,000 cash grant

Small businesses will receive a £10,000 cash grant if they:

£25,000 cash grant for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses

Businesses that operate in retail, hospitality and leisure sectors and occupy premises with a rateable value of £15,000–£51,000 will receive a cash grant of up to £25,000.

Business rates holiday for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses

Retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England will also benefit from a 100% business rates holiday for the 2020–2021 tax year.

Covid Corporate Financing Facility (CCFF)

Under this new scheme, the Bank of England will buy short-term debt from larger companies.

The facility is designed to support liquidity among larger firms, helping them to bridge coronavirus disruption to their cash flows through the purchase of short-term debt in the form of commercial paper.

It will support businesses that have been affected by a short-term funding squeeze and allow them to finance their short-term liabilities.

Self-Employment Income Support Scheme

This scheme helps self-employed people, or members of a partnership, who have lost income as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.

Individuals or partners can claim a grant worth 80% of their average trading profits from the tax years 2016 to 2017, 2017 to 2018 and 2018 to 2019.

The maximum amount available is £2,500 per month, for the three months the scheme will run (although the Government might extend this if necessary).