SME Tips to help secure a loan through the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS)



The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) was designed by the government to help support businesses who have suffered adversely as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic. Business can use the facility as a loan to support the business, for asset finance or asset re-finance. 


Due to unprecedented circumstances and high demand, the scheme is very sought after, meaning it is essential that businesses get their applications spot on when applying. Having worked with businesses to secure these finances, we have a few tips and ideas to help you speed up and secure your finance to help give your business the kick start it needs right now.

1. Check that your business meets the criteria

The CBILS criteria is set by the government and is helping established businesses that were previously performing well and have been adversely affected. It is important to check the criteria to see whether the scheme is the right source of finance, and whether your business qualifies, this is an important and time-saving step, as there are alternatives if your business does not qualify. The criteria includes specification on length of trading, amount of turnover, effects of Coronavirus, purpose of the loan, finance terms and amount of finance. Check out the criteria here.

2. Work out what you need and why

For a lender to consider your application, you need to identify and demonstrate the finances required for your business to continue trading during the pandemic. The scheme starts at £50,000 and offers businesses the opportunity to cover any losses due to adverse effects of the pandemic. Assessing company accounts, cash flow forecasts and other financial statistics will support the application. Exemplifying why the business needs the facility, how it was performing before and how it will benefit after is key to submitting a valid and approval-bound application to our panel of lenders.

3. Have the right information

In addition to knowing what you need from the CBIL Scheme and how much, by assessing the company finances and accounts, it is important to have this information, accurate and in its full form to submit with an application. Lenders are faced with large volumes of applications and are likely to favour applications that help them with the process by making it simple and readable, with all required information, as listed here. Details such as year end accounts, bank statements, directors’ information will be required, and will keep your application in tact. Lenders are not hesitant in rejecting applications with inaccurate, wrong or insufficient information, forcing your business to the back of the queue, so this step is essential to securing your finance facility.

4. Check the numbers

Formulating and calculating a solid cash flow forecast will go a long way in representing the status of the company before, during and after the pandemic. Lenders have to see that the business has a reasonable chance of succeeding and was in a good state of trading beforehand. Therefore, ensuring that the cash flow forecast includes everything required and is an accurate reflection of the business, its turnover, profit and expenditure, to give the lenders a clear view of your business’ finances. In addition, ensuring company accounts are accurate and up to date, as well as bank statements, with justification and explanation for all income and expenditure. This will reflect well on the business and support the application.

5. Be prompt and accurate

As mentioned previously, lenders are currently overwhelmed with applications to process, therefore the more accurate and to-the-point your documents are, the better chance you have of getting your finance secured in good time. Having the matched the criteria with the correct information and details of what is required and for how long you want to repay it for, the process can then begin to ensure the best chance of securing vital funding for your business during this period of economic uncertainty.

Having worked and continuing to work with lenders using our experience to ensure our businesses get the support they need, we are confident that following these steps will ensure that you have the best chance of securing finance facilities for your business.

For more information on the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme or to speak to one of our team about your finance options, contact us at info@johnsonreed.co.uk or call

0161 429 6949

Our online application form can be found here.

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