Apply for the Recovery Loan Scheme

News article

Support scheme offering government-backed loans to small businesses has been extended for a further two years

The Recovery Loan Scheme was originally launched in April 2021 to help businesses recover from the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The scheme was closed for applications on 30 June 2022.

A new iteration of the scheme is being launched in August to help businesses access finance as they look to invest and grow. The updated scheme will remain in place until June 2024.

What can you get?

The updated scheme will offer businesses the same range of funding options to support cash flow, including:

  • term loans and asset finance facilities from three months up to six years
  • overdrafts and invoice finance from three months up to three years

Loans will continue to be available through a network of accredited lenders listed on the British Business Bank website.

How much can you get?

Small businesses outside the scope of the Northern Ireland Protocol will be able to borrow up to £2 million.

Borrowers in scope of the Northern Ireland Protocol may borrow up to £1 million unless they operate in a sector where aid limits are reduced – in which case the maximum that can be borrowed is subject to a lower cap. These include agriculture, fisheries/aquaculture, and road freight haulage.


The government will continue to offer a guarantee of 70 per cent to the lender, although the liability for repayment remains 100 per cent with the borrower.

The key change to the scheme relates to a requirement for a personal guarantee from borrowers. Personal guarantees can now be taken at the lender's discretion, in line with their normal commercial lending practices.

Eligibility criteria

For a business to be eligible to apply to the scheme, the following criteria apply:

Turnover limit

The scheme is open to smaller businesses with a turnover of up to £45 million (on a group basis, where part of a group).


The borrower must be carrying out trading activity in the UK and, for most businesses, generating more than 50 per cent of its income from trading activity.

No COVID-19 impact test required

Unlike the previous iteration of the scheme, for most borrowers, there is no requirement to confirm they have been affected by COVID-19.

Viability test

The lender will consider that the borrower has a viable business proposition but may disregard (at its discretion) any concerns over its short-to-medium term business performance due to the uncertainty and impact of COVID-19.

Business in difficulty

The borrower must not be a business in difficulty, including not being in relevant insolvency proceedings.

Subsidy limits

Borrowers will need to provide written confirmation that receipt of the Recovery Loan Scheme facility will not mean that the business exceeds the maximum amount of subsidy they are allowed to receive.

Businesses that received support under earlier COVID-19 guaranteed loan schemes should note that, in some instances, the maximum amount they will be eligible for under the Recovery Loan Scheme may be reduced.

How to apply

The Recovery Loan Scheme will be available through participating lenders, which will be listed on the British Business Bank website.

First published 3 March 2021