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If the Covid-19 outbreak disrupts your cash flow, you can apply to the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS).

The scheme is part of a wider package of support for UK businesses and employees operated by the British Business Bank via accredited lenders.

There are more than 40 lenders providing finance and four banks say they do not need personal guarantees.

What are personal guarantees?

The fact that Barclays, Lloyds, HSBC and the Royal Bank of Scotland are not requesting personal guarantees on loans up to £250,000 is being welcomed.

Under normal circumstances, banks might require a personal guarantee from company directors. And if loans are not paid back, these guarantees see assets owned by directors being seized.

Those lenders who request personal guarantees cannot include directors’ main homes as part of this scheme.

There was concern that personal guarantees may be required for the CBLIS. But until this week only Royal Bank of Scotland/NatWest had removed personal guarantees from the loan.

How does CBILS work?

A lender can provide up to £5 million through:

  • Overdrafts
  • Invoice finance
  • Asset finance
  • Term loans

The maximum sum is available on repayments terms of up to six years. On overdrafts and invoice finance, the maximum term is three years.

Borrowers remain liable for the debt and the lender is provided with a government-backed, partial guarantee against the outstanding balance of the finance.

The government covers the first 12 months of interest payments and any charges imposed by the lender under the scheme.

Who is eligible?

Businesses applying for CBILS must be based in the UK with a turnover of less than £45 million. The business must also have a borrowing proposal which the lender:

  • Would consider viable were it not for the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • Believes will enable you to trade out of any short-term to medium-term difficulty

Who makes the decision to lend?

The lender has the authority to decide whether to office you finance under the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme. So, if the lender is able to do so with normal commercial terms, they will do so.

You can approach other lenders in the scheme if turned down by the first.

For more details and to apply for a CBILS, visit https://www.british-business-bank.co.uk/ourpartners/coronavirus-business-interruption-loan-scheme-cbils-2/ Or if you wish to discuss your options with us before applying for the loan scheme, then please contact us.