Coronavirus Government Funding Initiatives

Our aim is to help all businesses affected by COVID to maximise their chance of survival until the economy returns to something approaching normality. As a practice we have already undertaken a program of helping our clients take advantage of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, all without cost to our clients. We have also been helping clients prepare business cases for applying for the Govt Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) and helping with introductions to Corporate Finance Partners.  It is clear that the CBILS has significant shortcomings and is not accessible to all businesses that need help. In particular those businesses in the early stages of their development.  The Govt has recognised this to an extent and there are other funding initiatives being introduced it seems almost daily.

Summary of Govt backed lending arrangements as at 28/4/2020

1.      Bounce Back Loans
2.      CBILS
3.      Future Fund
4.      Innovate UK  
5.      Small Business Grants Fund (SBGF) and Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund (RHLGF)
All the above come with their own eligibility criteria all of which are subject to change. Below is a summary of the criteria for each as at today’s date:-

Bounce back loans

100% Govt Guarantee
Up to £50,000
No repayments or interest payable in 1st 12 months
- Government announcement here
- Government criteria page here (will be updated more as the week progresses)
- BBC News article with comments from key business groups

CBILS - Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme

Key changes announced 27/4/2020
Announced yesterday were two key changes to the CBILS - the lender cap has been removed (this increases the amount the bank can reclaim from the government under their guarantee) and banks are now not to look forward to assess viability. They are to only assess pre-Covid viability and not consider affordability.
Link To Govt website here.

cbils Key Points

- Available for businesses with turnover up to £45Million
- Govt pays the first 12 months interest and charges including arrangement fees
- Repayment terms of up to six years for loans
- Overdraft/Invoice financing for up to 3 years
- MAXIMUM AVAILABLE (GUIDELINES) – The greater of 25% of one year’s turnover or 2 times annual wage bill for businesses trading for two years or more , or one year’s wage bill for businesses trading less than one year.
No Personal Guarantees required for loans up to £250,000‘
Have a borrowing proposal that the lender would consider viable if it were not for COVID19’
Self-certify that adversely impacted by COVID19

CBILS Our View

   1.     If you haven't applied already and require £50k or less, consider a bounce back loan
  2.      Normally the first port of call should be the bank with whom you have your ongoing banking arrangements (the largest if more            than one)
  3.     This is not a licence to print money, Our experience to date is that although the Govt are underwriting 80% of the loan the lender            is still on the hook for 20% so they are looking closely at proposals, particularly where there are historic losses.
4.     The banks are short of resources and therefore a proposal that begs a lot of questions could take a very long time to reach a           decision even if that’s ultimately a rejection - preparation is key
 5.      Beware of multiple applications if your initial application as this may have an adverse effect on your credit score
 6.      Not all the lenders have the same underwriting criteria so one lender may accept a proposal that another rejects


These businesses may be eligible for two other initiatives that the Govt has announced. They are: -
1.      Future Fund
2.      Innovate UK   


SBGF - All eligible businesses in receipt of Small Business Rates Relief or Rural Rates Relief will be eligible for a payment of £10,000 Eligible businesses in receipt of Expanded Retail Discount with a rateable value of less than £51,000 will receive a grant of £25,000.  See here

Our philosophy

We are here to help; our mission is to help your business survive and thrive post COVID. Our future relies on your future. Wherever possible we will provide assistance and advice free of charge.  Where charges are unavoidable will let you know how much our fees are in advance and wherever possible link the charges to a successful outcome. Here are some case studies that back up our commitment to client service.
 Please feel free to use the resources available or get in touch if you’d like further help.
We will publish further details when they become available. We have published some FAQs relating to CBILS

For further information contact:
Nigel Simmons (FCCA)
Phone: 01202 678 993

offices and main phone contacts


+44 2072 504 752
Smithfield Business Centre
5 St Johns Lane
London EC1M 4BH


+44 1454 629 615
130 Aztec Park Avenue
Aztec West
Bristol BS32 4UB


+44 1202 678 993
Arena Business Centre
Holyrood Close
Poole BH17 7FJ


+44 1793 781 216
Nexus Business Centre
Cheney Manor
Swindon SN2 2PN