Following a change in EU state aid rules, the Government has announced that it will expand the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) to certain businesses classed as “undertakings in difficulty” – those with large losses and debts. The UK remains subject to EU state aid rules during the Brexit transition period.
The change means that businesses in this position with fewer than 50 employees and a turnover below £9 million can apply for a loan under the scheme.
CBILS was announced by the Chancellor during the Budget in March and enables businesses with a turnover of up to £45 million to borrow between £1,000 and £5 million, with the Government meeting the cost of interest for the first 12 months.
To date, more than 57,000 businesses have benefited from £12.6 billion in support from CBILS.
Chris Wilford, Head of Financial Services Policy at the CBI, said: “This is an important step that will help more businesses get the critical support they need. These eligibility hurdles have been a real stumbling block for many firms across the UK throughout the crisis. These were put in place to avoid governments bailing out failing companies, but those rules were established in normal times.
“They have had a real impact on the ability of some high-growth firms and those with more complex structures being able to access the loan schemes. More jobs and livelihoods will now be saved.”