To support small businesses during the coronavirus pandemic the Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a new business loan called the ‘Bounce Back Loan’.
The scheme has been designed to quickly support small businesses that may run out of money soon, and who have been struggling to access credit through the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS).
We review how the loan works and how to apply for a coronavirus small business Bounce Back Loan Scheme.
What is the new Bounce Back Loan Scheme?
The Bounce Back Loan is a new government scheme for small businesses who can apply for loans from £2000 up to £50,000 of financing from their lender to help them through the COVID-19 crisis.
Bounce Back Loans will be 100% guaranteed by the government and opened for applications on 4 May 2020.
Who can apply for the Bounce Back Loan Scheme?
You can apply for a loan if your business meets the following criteria:
- is based in the UK
- has been negatively affected by coronavirus
- was not already in financial difficulties on 31 Dec 2019
The following are not eligible:
- banks, insurers and reinsurers (but not insurance brokers)
- public-sector bodies
- further-education establishments, if they are grant-funded
- state-funded primary and secondary schools
How do I apply for a small business coronavirus Bounce Back Loan Scheme?
The chancellor announced that from Monday 4 May applications can be submitted through a simple online form.
How much will a bounce back loan cost me?
The government will guarantee 100% of the loan and businesses won’t have to pay any fees or interest for the first 12 months.
Loans will be available with terms of up to 6 years. Businesses will not need to make any repayments during the first 12 months of the loan. The government is also working with lenders to agree on a low rate of interest for the remaining period of the loan.
How does this loan differ from the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme?
The existing Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) has received criticism from small businesses, as lots of small businesses were being declined funding.
This is because banks were deeming some applicants as not viable businesses to receive a loan.
CBILS is 80% backed by the government, whereas the new Bounce Back Loan Scheme is 100% backed by the government. This means with the new scheme the government will carry the risk of lending, instead of the banks.
What does 100% government guaranteed mean?
The 100% government guarantee means that banks will not have to absorb losses on loans taken out by companies that may not be able to repay all of the debt. If a business cannot repay, and the funds cannot be recouped through normal means, the state will take a loss instead.
Can I apply for this loan if I have already applied for the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme?
The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) will run alongside the Bounce Back Loan Scheme, but you can’t apply for both loans. CBILS offers loans up to £5 million but as the lender bears 20% of the risk it is not as easy to get approval.
If you’ve already received a loan of up to £50,000 under CBILS and would like to transfer it into the Bounce Back Loan Scheme, you can arrange this with your lender until 4 November 2020.
What other funding can I apply for?
For guidance on the full government support in place for businesses, read our coronavirus business support guide.
Businesses that do have sufficient security at the moment, and would be accepted for credit without the help of the scheme, could compare and apply for business loans in the usual way to see if they can find a suitable funding option.
For more information on how to start applying for funding, take a look at our guide to preparing for a business loan.