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UPDATE: The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) is now available through participating lenders

With mobility retailers and suppliers hit hard during the coronavirus outbreak as vulnerable and elderly customers self-isolate, business owners may be considering accessing the government support packages available.

A variety of different measures have been set out by the chancellor over the past week to help provide vital support to businesses affected by the disruption caused by COVID-19 including sick pay relief, grants and tax breaks.

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One of the key measures created to help businesses during this time is the temporary Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme.

Designed to help SMEs suffering short-term liquidity problems as a result of coronavirus disruption, the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme will be delivered by the British Business Bank and will be available from the 23rd March 2020.

According to guidance from the government, the scheme will see the government provide lenders with a guarantee of 80 per cent on each loan which will be subject to a per-lender cap on claims.

The government will not charge businesses or lenders for this guarantee and the scheme will support loans of up to £5 million in value.

Businesses that take out the loan will have access to the first six months of the finance interest free, with the government confirming it will cover the first six months of interest payments.

According to the British Business Bank, the process to apply will be “simple to apply and should take no longer than a standard application.”

Small businesses that wish to access the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme should approach one of the 40+ accredited lenders – including Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds Bank and TSB -with a borrowing proposal.

It is important to note that the lenders have full power over the decision-making over which businesses can access the loan scheme.

On the British Business Bank’s website, it says: “If the accredited lender can offer finance on normal commercial terms without the need to make use of the scheme, they will do so. Where the small business has a sound borrowing proposal but insufficient security, the lender will consider the business for support via the scheme.”

Businesses are advised to get in contact with their bank as a first port-of-call.

Over the coming days, THIIS will outline further financial support packages introduced by the government to help keep mobility companies informed during this uncertain time.

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