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COVID-19 financial support

COVID-19 (Coronavirus): Financial support for businesses

On this page, we summarise the different types of financial support available for businesses operating during the coronavirus outbreak and direct you to where you can find more information.

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS)

CBILS can provide facilities of up to £5 million for smaller businesses (SMEs) across the UK that are experiencing increased costs, or disruptions to their cashflow.

The scheme provides the lender with a government-backed guarantee, potentially enabling a “no” credit decision from a lender to become a “yes”.

Delivered by the British Business Bank through more than 40 accredited lenders, CBILS will support the continued provision of finance to UK SMEs during the COVID-19 outbreak.

There is no fee for SMEs to access the scheme. The Government will make a payment to cover the first 12 months of interest payments and any facility arrangement fees lenders charge.

To be eligible for a facility under CBILS, an SME must:

  • be UK-based in its business activity
  • have a turnover of no more than £45 million
  • have a borrowing proposal which a lender would consider viable, were it not for the COVID-19 pandemic, and for which the lender believes the provision of finance will enable the business to trade out of any short-to-medium term difficulty

Note: If the lender can offer finance on normal commercial terms without the need to make use of the scheme, they will do so.

Under this new programme, delivered by the British Business Bank through accredited lenders and partners, businesses that are experiencing increased costs or disruptions to their cashflow can apply for a loan of up to £5 million.

The Government covers the first 12 months of interest payments and any arrangement fees lenders charge.

Learn more about the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS)

CBILS is just one of a number of measures announced by the Government and you can find full details of the temporary, timely and targeted measures to support public services, people and businesses through this period of disruption caused by COVID-19 here.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

Under this scheme, the Government will cover 80% of the salary of PAYE employees who would otherwise have lost their jobs due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Due to begin in April, the scheme is open to all employers and will cover wages backdated to 1 March 2020. It will continue for at least three months.

For more information about the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, click here.

Cash grants from local authorities

The Government announced two cash grants for small businesses, available from local authorities.

Local authorities will inform small businesses if they are eligible for the grant — businesses should not need to make a claim.

£10,000 cash grant

Small businesses will receive a £10,000 cash grant if they:

For more information on this grant, click here.

£25,000 cash grant for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses

Businesses that operate in retail, hospitality and leisure sectors and occupy premises with a rateable value of £15,000–£51,000 will receive a cash grant of up to £25,000.

For more information on provisions for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses, Click here.

Business rates holiday for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses

Retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England will also benefit from a 100% business rates holiday for the 2020–2021 tax year.

For more information on the business rates holiday, click here.

Covid Corporate Financing Facility (CCFF)

Under this new scheme, the Bank of England will buy short-term debt from larger companies.

The facility is designed to support liquidity among larger firms, helping them to bridge coronavirus disruption to their cash flows through the purchase of short-term debt in the form of commercial paper.

It will support businesses that have been affected by a short-term funding squeeze and allow them to finance their short-term liabilities.

For more information on the CCFF, click here.

  1. Think through the impacts of major change in your particular market and your business as a result of COVID-19 - A contingency plan, where you’re going to be most effective or changes you can make in your business and what the consequences might be for your need for finance.

Stephen Pegge, Managing Director, Commercial Finance, UK Finance

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