The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS), announced by The Chancellor during his recent budget 2020, is now open for applications. It provides facilities for smaller businesses across the UK who are experiencing lost or deferred revenues, leading to disruptions to their cashflow.

The scheme is a borrowing facility which is designed to help viable businesses access finance through their bank or finance provider, where a lender would not be able to provide finance to the business on their normal lending criteria. It will be available to eligible SMEs with a turnover of no more than £45 million per annum, and firms will be able to access up to £5 million in finance.

It supports a wide range of business finance products, including term loans, overdrafts, invoice finance and asset finance of up to six years in length with no interest or fees payable by the customer. CBILS provides the lender with a government-backed guarantee potentially enabling a ‘no’ credit decision from a lender to become a ‘yes’. The borrower always remains 100% liable for the debt.

You can find more details, such as key features and eligibility criteria on the British Business Bank (BBB) website. BBB is administering the scheme on behalf of the 40 or so participating lenders.

Innovate Finance has been talking to FinTech SME Finance providers about the vital role they can play, as a participating lender, in making sure the CBILS financing is distributed to those most in need as quickly as possible. We have been in regular contact with the BBB, HM Treasury, the Bank of England and UK Finance to both ensure that our members’ concerns are being heard at this time, and to enable those businesses, who can offer alternative lending solutions to SMEs at this critical for those firms, are able to participate in this scheme. We will keep you updated on this!

Please note: This scheme is just one of a number of measures announced by Government and you can find full details of the temporary, timely and targeted measures to support public services, people and businesses through this period of disruption caused by COVID-19 here.