As announced in the Chancellor’s Budget on 3rd March the Business Recovery Loan Scheme (RLS) is now open for applications (6 April 2021).
What is it?
The new government-backed loan scheme is the successor to the BBLS, CBILS/CLBILS, and is available to businesses who are adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. It is provided by a number of different lenders via different facilities, including termed loans, overdrafts, invoice finance and asset finance.
Who is eligible to apply?
Any UK business of any size that is currently trading and financially affected by the pandemic who can show that their business:
- Would be viable were it not for the pandemic
- Has been adversely impacted by the pandemic
- Is not in collective insolvency proceedings (unless within the scope of the Northern Ireland Protocol). Lenders, at their discretion, may overlook concerns over short-to-medium term performance owing to the pandemic.
Who cannot apply?
- Banks, building societies, insurers and reinsurers (not including insurance brokers)
- Public sector bodies
- State-funded primary and secondary schools
Key features of the scheme:
- Up to £10m facility per business (a maximum of £30m per Group)
- Varying minimum loan amounts ranging between £1,000 and £25,001 depending on the type of facility
- Government guarantees to lenders of 80% (lenders will always be liable for 100% of the loan debt)
- Interest and fees to be paid by the business from the outset, with the effective rate of interest including fees to be no more than 14.99%
- Term lengths of between three months and six years (for term loans and asset finance) and 3 months and 3 years (for overdrafts and invoice finance)
- Personal guarantees not required for facilities below £250,000. Any facility exceeding that amount is capped at a maximum of 20% of the outstanding balance of facility. Personal guarantees cannot be held over Principal Private Residences.
- No turnover restrictions for businesses accessing the Scheme
- Businesses wo have previously borrowed under the other loan schemes are not precluded from applying for support under the RLS, although this may affect the amount that can be borrowed.
For what purpose can we use the finance?
Loans can be used for any legitimate business purpose, including management of cashflow, investment and growth.
How to apply:
There are currently 18 accredited lenders able to offer recovery loans. Borrowers should apply directly to the lenders. You can find further information about the lender network here: Recovery Loan Scheme: current accredited lenders – British Business Bank (british-business-bank.co.uk)
What documents will we need to provide with our application?
Requirements will vary from lender to lender but are likely to include management accounts, business plan, historic accounts and details of assets.
When does the RLS end?
Applications close on 31 December 2021 (subject to review).
Further information can be found at the British Business Bank website: Recovery Loan Scheme – British Business Bank (british-business-bank.co.uk)