The pandemic has created a host of challenges for businesses to overcome in the past year, leaving many unsure of their future. However, to help struggling businesses make it through this difficult period, a number of financial support measures have been introduced by the Government.
As the pandemic has continued, these measures have been extended to ensure UK businesses don’t have the rug pulled out from underneath them. Here is a summary of the support that is still available:
Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) - extended until 31 March 2021
CBILS gives small and medium-sized businesses - with an annual turnover of up to £45m - access to financial support of up to £5m.
There are now over 100 accredited lenders (up from an original panel of 40) that can provide finance, each having its own eligibility criteria. Loans can be provided up to £5m in the form of term loans, overdrafts, invoice finance and asset lending. Importantly, despite the government’s contribution towards interest in the first year, the borrower remains responsible for all repayments and is fully liable for the debt.
Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS) - extended until 31 March 2021
CLBILS is another branch of the CBILS support measure. It is specifically for businesses with an annual turnover between £45m and £250m and provides access to up to £25m of loans.
Bounce Back Loans – extended until 31 March 2021
The Bounce Back Loan scheme was initially introduced due to concerns that small businesses wouldn’t be able to access coronavirus funding fast enough. It is separate to CBILS, and businesses can borrow between £2,000 and £50,000 through it.
Originally, the maximum repayment term was six years, however lenders can extend the term by up to a further four years, essentially almost halving repayments. The possibility of up to three repayment holidays of up to six months each, where only interest is payable, have also been introduced.
If a company has yet to borrow the maximum amount through Bounce Back Loans, they can ‘top up’ the loan once, with a minimum top-up of £1,000. However, the repayment and interest-free period is shorter for the top-up, than the original loan.
Future Fund – open for applications until 31 January 2021
The Future Fund provides convertible loans - between £125,000 to £5m - to UK companies that typically rely on equity investment and would otherwise have been successful if the pandemic hadn’t happened.
The aim of these loans is to support innovative businesses through the current economic disruption and put them on the path of recovery, allowing them to continue their growth trajectory and reach their full potential.
Before applying for any of these support measures, it is vital to be fully aware of the options and obligations surrounding each scheme.
To help, our corporate team offers a fixed fee service for clients and contacts who have applied for or are considering applying for the CBILS scheme, and other support measures. This will continue until the schemes end.
We have launched our guide to recovery and resilience, helping to support businesses and individuals unlock their potential, navigate their way out of lockdown and make way for a brighter future. Further advice in relation to COVID-19 can be found on our dedicated coronavirus resource hub.
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