What is CBILS, and how can I apply for it?Due to the COVID-19 outbreak the government decided to provide financial support to business owners, across the UK, who are losing revenue and have seen their cashflow disrupted due to the pandemic. CBILS was initially set up with only the High Street Banks offering CBILS. Now a wider number of alternative lenders can offer the scheme. “At Grow Funding, we have helped many businesses that were not supported by their bank. In some instances, we have arranged more than one CBILS loan for a client,” Mark Ridley tells Real Business. “In some cases, we found that our clients hadn’t even heard of CBILS, or that they could have multiple CBILS from different lenders, depending on their annual turnover.” Grow Funding is an independent commercial finance broker that has quickly adapted to serve businesses with the knowledge and financial support they need to make it through the pandemic. It is now offering a free CBILS review to any business owner whose company’s turnover is between £300k to £45m. To date, Grow Funding has helped more than 50 companies by securing them over £10m of CBILS. “We want to establish relationships with these business owners, talking to them about their options for commercial finance to not just keep their businesses afloat, but to help grow them too. People say that, but you have to demonstrate that with action,” Ridley adds. “No one knew there was going to be another lockdown. Already CBILS has been extended twice. There’s a lot of uncertainty now, which is why we help businesses with their research and solutions.”
CBILS is designed to help otherwise thriving businesses survive the shock of the pandemic. CBILS allows these businesses to apply for funds based on a portion of their turnover or their liquidity needs for the next 18 months.At some point, businesses need to operate on their own, without any additional support, Ridley explains. “Until then, we can help them find that support. And once they can run on their own, that’s when we can really help people find sustainable ways to finance their businesses for growth.” “Businesses need to use this money to make more money, not just to prop up the business and pay the bills. They need to pay this loan back in the future, and to be in a positive position.”
Covid-19 support schemes in numbers
- Recent HM Treasury figures reveal that Covid-19 support schemes back nearly 1.5 million businesses across the UK.
- The Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS) supports almost 1.4 million small and micro businesses affected by the pandemic – many of which now have the option of ‘topping up’ existing facilities following the scheme extension.
- The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) has backed over 77,900 businesses with financing since launching in March 2020.
- 658 larger businesses have been supported by the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS).
- There are 28 lenders accredited to the BBL Scheme, with most businesses having an existing relationship with one of these firms. 111 lenders are accredited to the CBIL scheme.
- 99% of SMEs with a business bank account are with a provider that offers Bounce Back Loans.
- Following the extension of the coronavirus lending schemes, SMEs can now ‘top up’ their Bounce Back Loan to the maximum value of £50,000, or if lower, 25% of the turnover they declared when they first applied.
- Businesses are encouraged to contact their lender if they wish to access these additional funds from their existing loan.
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