Coronavirus: Apply for the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme - for small and medium-sized businesses
Note: The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) closed for applications on 31 March 2021.
This scheme provides financial support to smaller businesses affected by coronavirus (COVID-19).
The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) helps small and medium-sized businesses to access loans and other kinds of finance up to £5 million.
The government guarantees 80 per cent of the finance to the lender and pays interest and any fees for the first 12 months.
If you're a larger business, you may be entitled to other support.
You can apply for a loan if your business:
- is based in the UK
- has an annual turnover of up to £45 million
You need to show that your business:
- would be viable were it not for the pandemic
- has been adversely impacted by the coronavirus
If you want to borrow £30,000 or more, you also need to confirm that your business wasn't classed as a business in difficulty on 31 December 2019.
Who cannot apply
Businesses from any sector can apply, except:
- banks, insurers and reinsurers (but not insurance brokers)
- public-sector bodies
- state-funded primary and secondary schools
How long the loan is for
The maximum length of the facility depends on the type of finance you apply for and will be:
- up to 3 years for overdrafts and invoice finance facilities
- up to 6 years, for loans and asset finance facilities
How to apply
There are 117 lenders participating in the scheme including all the main retail banks. You should approach a suitable lender yourself via the lender's website.
You'll need to tell the lender:
- the amount you'd like to borrow
- what the money is for
- how long you'd like to pay it back
You'll need to provide documents that show you can afford to repay the loan.
These may include:
- management accounts
- cash flow forecast
- business plan
- historic accounts
- details of assets
The documents required will vary from lender to lender and depend on how much you're asking for. If you're asking your existing lender for a small loan, the process may be automated and not require all of the documents.
The lender will check that the loan is:
- for a suitable business purpose
- affordable for you
- the right type of finance for your needs
The lender will decide whether to offer you a loan or another type of finance and you’ll be responsible for repaying 100 per cent of the amount borrowed.
If the lender turns you down
If one lender turns you down, you can apply to other lenders in the scheme.
You may want to consider using a broker to find the right type of finance for your needs, or do your own research using the British Business Bank's finance guide.
First published 20 March 2020