Financial assistance – loans under the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS)

Applications have been open since 23 March 2020 and will initially run for six months. All SME businesses in all industries (except excluded (see note 1 below) organisations) can apply. Resources have been trebled to process the increased demand expected for these loans, but since there will be high demand for CBILS facilities, phone lines are likely to be busy and branches may not be able to handle enquiries in person. Online applications on the lenders’ websites are recommended.

Applications should be made directly to accredited lenders (see note 2 below) (the British Business Bank will be working to accredit new lenders). The lender has the authority to decide whether to offer finance under this scheme unless it can do so on normal commercial terms. Other lenders can be approached if one lender has turned the lending down.

SMEs will qualify if the business:

  • is UK-based 
  • has an annual turnover under £45 million
  • has a borrowing proposal which the lender would consider viable prior to the COVID-19 pandemic
  • can evidence that it can trade out of any short-term to medium-term difficulty using this facility.

Applications can be made with your bank directly and SMEs will pay no arrangement fees to access this finance. The government will pay for any lender-levied fees and cover interest payments for the first 12 months, lowering the initial repayments for smaller businesses. In addition, some lenders are likely to offer capital deferment schemes of up to six months as well.

Schemes will be available for both term loans of up to six years and overdraft or invoice financing for up to three years.

Term loans from £10,000 to £5m will be available under this scheme for a maximum repayment period of six years. Overdraft and invoice financing to ease working capital requirements will be available for a maximum period of up to three years.

Borrowings of up to £250,000 can be accessed without security, at the lender’s discretion, and whilst the lenders will have a government-backed guarantee of 80% of the loan value, the borrowers will be liable to repay 100% of the debt.

Notes:
(1) Excluded Businesses that cannot apply for CBILS:

  • Banks and building societies
  • Insurers and reinsurers (but not insurance brokers)
  • Public-sector organisations, including state-funded primary and secondary schools
  • Employer, professional, religious or political membership organisations
  • Trade unions

(2) Access a list of currently accredited lenders that can offer loans under CBILS

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Financial assistance – business rates holiday

Businesses in England in the retail, hospitality and/or leisure sector will have a business rates holiday for the 2020-2021 tax year.

To benefit from this relief, business must be in occupation of properties that are wholly or mainly being used:

a) as shops, restaurants, cafes, drinking establishments, cinemas and live music venues,

b) for assembly and leisure; or

c) as hotels, guest & boarding premises and self-catering accommodation.

Refer to the Table 1 below for a list of uses that government considers eligible for this relief.

Nursery businesses that pay business rates in England will also receive a business rates holiday for the 2020-21 tax year. To qualify, the business must be a provider on Ofsted’s Early Years Register and be in occupation of a property used wholly or mainly for the provision of the Early Years Foundation Stage. There will be no rateable value limit for this relief for nursery businesses and those that occupy more than one property will be entitled to relief for each of their eligible properties.

Businesses that the government considers not eligible for this relief include those that provide the following services to members of the public:

a) Financial services (e.g. banks, building societies, cash points, bureaux de change, short-term loan providers)

b) Medical services (e.g. vets, dentists, doctors, osteopaths, chiropractors)

c) Professional services (e.g. solicitors, accountants, insurance agents/ financial advisers)

d) Post office sorting offices

There will be no rateable value limit on the relief. Ratepayers that occupy more than one property will be entitled to relief for each of their eligible properties.

Each Local Authority (LA) will adopt their own local scheme and base their decisions to grant relief via their discretionary powers. The relief for businesses that the LA’s determine are eligible will be for 100% of their 2020/21 non-domestic rates bill for the occupied portion of their property. No relief will be available for the time when the property is unoccupied for the business purpose (e.g. if a shop is vacant for three months to March 2021, the 100% relief will only apply to their rates bill for the period April to December 2020).

Businesses that are deemed to eligible for this relief will be issued a revised bill for 2020-21 reflecting the discount.
 

Table 1: list of eligible businesses for the Expanded Retail Discount 2020/21

Shops, restaurants, cafes, drinking establishments, cinemas and live music venues:

 

Premises used for the sale of goods to visiting members of the public:

 

  • Shops (e.g. florists, bakers, butchers, grocers, greengrocers, jewellers, stationers, off-licences, chemists, newsagents, hardware stores, supermarkets, etc.)
  • Charity shops
  • Opticians
  • Post offices
  • Furnishing shops/ display rooms (e.g. carpet shops, double glazing, garage doors)
  • Car/caravan show rooms
  • Second-hand car lots
  • Markets
  • Petrol stations
  • Garden centres
  • Art galleries (where art is for sale/hire)

 

Premises used for the provision of the following services to visiting members of the public:

 

  • Hair and beauty services (e.g. hairdressers, nail bars, beauty salons, tanning shops, etc.)
  • Shoe repairs/key cutting
  • Travel agents
  • Ticket offices e.g. for theatre
  • Dry cleaners
  • Launderettes
  • PC/TV/domestic appliance repair
  • Funeral directors
  • Photo processing
  • Tool hire
  • Car hire
  • Employment agencies
  • Estate agents and letting agents
  • Betting shops

 

Premises used for the sale of food and/or drink to visiting members of the public:

 

  • Restaurants
  • Takeaways
  • Sandwich shops
  • Coffee shops
  • Pubs
  • Bars

 

Premises used as cinemas and live music venues

Public assembly and leisure venues:

 

Premises used for the provision of sport, leisure and facilities to visiting members of the public (including for the viewing of such activities):

 

  • Sports grounds and clubs
  • Museums and art galleries
  • Nightclubs
  • Sport and leisure facilities
  • Stately homes and historic houses
  • Theatres
  • Tourist attractions
  • Gyms
  • Wellness centres, spas, massage parlours
  • Casinos, gambling clubs and bingo halls  

 

Premises used for the assembly of visiting members of the public:

 

  • Public halls
  • Clubhouses, clubs and institutions

Hotels, guest & boarding premises and self-catering accommodation

 

Premises where the non-domestic part is being used for the provision of living accommodation as a business:

 

  • Hotels, Guest and boarding houses
  • Holiday homes
  • Caravan parks and sites

As per Government guidance, the above list is not exhaustive as it would be impossible to list the many and varied uses that exist within the qualifying purposes. There will also be mixed uses. However, this will be used as a guide by Local Authorities to determine the types of uses that the Government considers for this purpose to be eligible for relief. Local Authorities will be expected to determine for themselves whether particular properties not listed are broadly similar in nature to those above and, if so, to consider them eligible for the relief. Conversely, properties that are not broadly similar in nature to those listed above will not be eligible for the relief.

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Financial assistance – grants

In addition to the business rates holiday for year 2020-21, Local Authorities will also provide cash grants for small businesses as well as businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sector. Local Authorities will be responsible for delivering the funding to eligible businesses. You should refer to your local authority.

There are two grant funding schemes through which this will be delivered:

the Small Business Grant Fund (SBGF) and

  • the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund (RHLG).

Eligible recipients will receive one grant per property.

Businesses should contact their relevant local authority directly for any enquiries on eligibility for, or provision of, the reliefs and grants.

Scheme

Small Business Grant Fund (SBGF)

Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund (RHLG)

Available to

 

 

 

All businesses in England in receipt of Small Business Rates Relief (SBRR) and Rural Rates Relief (RRR) in the business rates system

 

 

Businesses in England in receipt of the Expanded Retail Discount (which covers retail, hospitality and leisure) with a rateable value of less than £51,000

How much

 

 

 

 

£10,000

 

£10,000

for premises with a rateable value of up to £15,000

 

 

 

 

£25,000

for premises with a rateable value of over £15,000 and less than £51,000

 

Eligibility criteria

 

 

 

Premises which on the 11 March 2020 were eligible for relief under the business rate Small Business Rate Relief Scheme (including those with a Rateable Value between £12,000 and £15,000 which receive tapered relief)

 

 

Premises which on the 11 March 2020 had a rateable value of less than £51,000 and would have been eligible for a discount under the business rates Expanded Retail Discount Scheme

 

 

Premises which on 11 March 2020 were eligible for relief under the rural rate relief scheme

 

 

Exclusions

 

 

 

Premises that were not eligible for percentage SBRR relief (including those eligible for the Small Business Rate Multiplier)

 

 

Premises with a rateable value of over £51,000

 

 

Premises occupied for personal uses, e.g. private stables and loose boxes, beach huts and moorings

 

 

Premises occupied for personal uses, e.g. private stables and loose boxes, beach huts and moorings

 

 

 

Car parks and parking spaces

 

 

Car parks and parking spaces

 

 

 

Businesses which as of the 11 March were in liquation or were dissolved

 

 

Businesses which as of the 11 March were in liquation or were dissolved

 

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