The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) is available for SMEs through more than 40 accredited lenders across the UK.
How to apply
1. Find a lender
2. Approach a lender
You should approach a lender yourself, ideally via the lender’s website.
Notes: There is high demand for CBILS facilities. Phone lines are likely to be busy and branches may not be able to handle enquiries in person.
Not every accredited lender can provide every type of finance available under CBILS, and the amount of finance offered varies between lenders. Please see the lenders’ websites for more information on the amounts they are able to offer.
3. The lender makes a decision
The lender has the authority to decide whether to offer you finance.
Under the scheme, 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
4. If the lender turns you down
If one lender turns you down, you can still approach other lenders within the scheme.
Access to the scheme has now been opened up to smaller businesses facing cashflow difficulties who previously would not have been eligible for CBILS because they met the requirements for a standard commercial facility.
You may therefore consider re-contacting your lender if you have previously been unsuccessful in securing funding.
Who is eligible
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 (COVID-19).
Businesses from any sector can apply, except the following:
- Banks, insurers and reinsurers (but not insurance brokers)
- Public-sector bodies
- Further-education establishments, if they are grant-funded
- State-funded primary and secondary schools
What lenders will need from you
When you apply for a business loan, most lenders will ask you for the following:
Details of the loan
- The amount you would like to borrow
- What the money is for — the lender will check that it’s a suitable business purpose and the right type of finance for your needs
- The period over which you will make the repayments — the lender will assess whether the loan is affordable for you
You will need to provide certain evidence to show that you can afford to repay the loan. This is likely to include:
- Management accounts
- Cash flow forecast
- Business plan
- Historic accounts
- Details of assets
The above requirements will vary from lender to lender. If you do not have everything listed here, a CBILS loan could still be an option to provide finance to support your business.
Note: For many customers approaching their existing lenders for a smaller facility, the process may be automated and therefore may not require the same level of documentation.
To learn more about lenders’ requirements, see the Better Business Finance lending application checklist.
Other business finance support options
You can find details of other government measures to support public services, people and businesses through this disruption on the Government’s Business Support website.
Guidance and support for your business during this period of uncertainty
The British Business Bank and The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) have created new content to help businesses that are facing financial and operational challenges as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.
You can view this regularly updated guidance at the Business Finance Guide website.