Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy written question – answered on 5th May 2020.

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Photo of Simon Baynes Simon Baynes Conservative, Clwyd South

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that all firms entitled to assistance under the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme are able to access it.

Photo of Paul Scully Paul Scully Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy), Minister of State (London)

The Government has responded to helpful feedback to ensure that companies feel the full benefits of available support through the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) by:

  • Extending the scheme so that all viable small businesses affected by Covid-19, and not just those unable to secure regular commercial financing, are eligible if the lender believes they need finance to see them through these unprecedented times;
  • Removing previous restrictions on the following groups to enable them to access the CBILS, subject to other eligibility criteria being met: Employer, professional, religious or political membership organisations and trade unions are now eligible for the CBILS;
  • Removing ability for lenders to ask for personal guarantees for loans under £250,000, and reducing the personal guarantee for loans over £250,000 to 20% of the outstanding balance after recoveries;
  • Introducing technical changes to ensure that applications will be processed faster;
  • Removing the forward-looking viability test that required an assessment of whether the business can trade out of the crisis. The only test that remains is whether a business was viable before Covid-19; and
  • Removing the per lender portfolio cap, to give lenders the full 80% guarantee across all CBILS lending.

The Government will continue to see if there are other areas for improvement across the scheme as a whole.

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