- Scheme to help smaller businesses impacted by COVID-19
- Businesses can borrow between £2,000 up to 25% of turnover (to a maximum of £50,000)
- The government will cover any interest payable in the first 12 months
- The scheme is 100% government-backed
- Interest rate is set at 2.5% per annum
- Repayment term is fixed at 6 years
- No repayments will be due during the first 12 months
- Lenders are not permitted to charge any fees
- Early repayment is permitted at any stage, without early repayment fees
- Businesses remain 100% liable to repay the full loan amount, as well as the interest, after the first year
- The scheme will be delivered through a network of accredited lenders – clients should approach their own bank in the first instance. There are online portals on each of the banks’ websites.
The Scheme is open to most businesses, regardless of turnover, who meet the eligibility criteria and who were established on or before 1 March 2020. Borrowers are required to declare, amongst other things, that:
- The business is engaged in trading or commercial activity in the UK at the date of the application, was carrying on business on 1 March 2020 and has been adversely affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19).
- The business (and any wider group of which it is part) has not already received a Bounce Back Loan Scheme facility.
- The business (and any wider group of which it is part) has not yet obtained a loan through either the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme, or the COVID Corporate Financing Facility unless that loan will be refinanced in full by the Bounce Back Loan Scheme facility.
- That the business is a UK limited company or partnership, or tax resident in the UK
- The business is not a bank, building society, insurance company, public sector organisation, state-funded primary or secondary school, or an individual other than a sole trader or a partner acting on behalf of a partnership.
- Whether or not the business was, on 31 December 2019, a “business in difficulty” and does not breach State aid restrictions under the Temporary Framework, and if it was a “business in difficulty” then it must confirm it does not breach de minimis State aid restrictions and will not be used to support export-related activities.
- At the time of submitting their loan application, the business is neither in bankruptcy, debt restructuring proceedings, liquidation or similar.
- More than 50% of the income of the business (together with that of any member of any group of which it is a part) is derived from its trading activity. This confirmation is not required if the borrower is a charity or a further education college.
- They will use the loan only to provide economic benefit to the business, (for example providing working capital) and not for personal purposes. They have understood the costs associated with repayment of the loan and that they are able and intend to complete timely repayments in future.
How to Apply
- The scheme is available through the British Business Bank’s accredited lenders. The list is available here.
- In the first instance, businesses should approach their own bank.
- Businesses will be required to fill in a short online application form on their bank’s website and self-declare that they are eligible for the scheme.
- Businesses may also consider approaching other Scheme accredited providers if they are unable to access the finance they need or if their existing provider is not accredited to provide loans under the Scheme.
- The scheme is designed to enable businesses to access finance quickly. Applications are expected to be assessed by their lender within a matter of days.
- Some lenders may ask for additional information such as an HMRC self-assessment tax return. Eligible companies will be subject to standard customer fraud, Anti-Money Laundering and Know Your Customer checks.
Definitions of a Business In Difficulty
A business is considered in difficulty if met any one of the following criteria on 31 December 2019:
- Individuals or companies that have entered into collective insolvency proceedings;
- Limited companies which have accumulated losses greater than half of their share capital in their last annual accounts (this does not apply to SMEs less than 3 years old );
- Partnerships, limited partnerships or unlimited liability companies which have accumulated losses greater than half of their capital in their latest annual accounts (this does not apply to SMEs less than 3 years old);
- Where the undertaking has received rescue aid and has not yet reimbursed the loan or terminated the guarantee, or has received restructuring aid and is still subject to a restructuring plan;
- A company which is not an SME where for each of the last two accounting years: i) your book debt to equity ratio has been greater than 7.5, and ii) your EBITDA interest coverage ratio has been below 1.0