Coronavirus (COVID-19) Support for Businesses
Unsecured loans up to £150,000 for businesses affected by Coronavirus

The CBILS scheme is now closed to new applications

The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme is now closed to new applications.

Please note, applications received by 23.59 on 31 March 2021 can still be processed through to 31 May 2021.

If you have a query about CBILS, or wish to discuss an outstanding application, please contact us in the usual way.

Recovery Loan Scheme

A new debt finance programme, the Recovery Loan Scheme (RLS), was announced by the Government in the Budget on 3 March 2021.

The new Scheme, which will open on 6 April 2021, aims to support businesses affected by Covid-19 as they recover and grow following the pandemic. RLS supports a maximum facility size of up to £10m with minimum facility sizes starting at £1,000 for Invoice and Asset Finance and £25,001 for Term Loans and Overdrafts.

Further information can be found on the British Business Bank website.

  • CBILS is now closed for new applications
  • Borrow £50,001 to £150,000
  • Terms up to 5 years
  • No guarantee fee for SMEs to access the scheme
  • Interest and fees paid by Government for 12 months*
  • No personal guarantees for facilities under £250k
  • Where we can offer finance on normal commercial terms without the need to make use of the scheme, we will do so.
  • The borrower always remains 100% liable for the debt

Frequently Asked Questions

When did CBILS close?

CBILS closed for new applications at 11.59 on 31 March 2021.

Am I eligibible for CBILS?

Smaller businesses from all sectors can apply for the full amount of the facility**. To be eligible for a facility under CBILS, a business must:

  • be UK-based in its business activity;
  • have an annual turnover of no more than £45 million;
  • have a borrowing proposal which the Business Enterprise Fund would consider viable, were it not for the current pandemic;
  • self-certify that it has been impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19); and
  • not be classed as a business or ‘undertaking’ in difficulty.

** The following trades and organisations are not eligible to apply: banks, building societies, insurers and re-insurers (but not insurance brokers); The public sector including state-funded primary and secondary schools; employer, professional, religious or political membership organisation or trade unions.

How do I apply for CBILS?

You can apply for a CBILS loan using our online application form.

How much can I borrow using CBILS?

BEF support CBILS applications between £50,001 to £150,000. The scheme has a maximum limit of £5 million.

How long will I have to pay back my CBILS loan?

Business Enterprise Fund offers terms up to 5 years with interest and fees paid by Government for 12 months.*

Do I need a personal guarantee for CBILS?

CBILS gives the lender a government-backed guarantee for the loan repayments to encourage more lending. Under the scheme, personal guarantees of any form will not be taken for facilities below £250,000.

The borrower remains fully liable for the debt.

Is CBILS the same as a Bounce Back Loan?

No, CBILS is complimentary scheme to the Bounce Back Loan. 

Under the Bounce Back Loan Scheme a lender can provide a six-year term loan from £2,000 up to 25% of a business’ turnover. The maximum loan amount is £50,000.

The scheme gives the lender a full (100%) government-backed guarantee against the outstanding balance of the facility (both capital and interest). The borrower always remains fully liable for the debt.

Please note that we are not a delivery partner for the Bounce Back Loan Scheme.

Can I take out a CBILS loan if I’ve already got a Bounce Back Loan?

You can’t hold a Bounce Back Loan and a CBILS loan at the same time. However, if you have a Bounce Back Loan, you can still apply for a CBILS loan and, if your application is approved, you’ll then be asked to settle your Bounce Back Loan.

Where can I go for more information on CBILS?

To find answers to common questions around CBILS and how it relates to SMEs please see the CBILS FAQs for SMEs.

What are the early repayment fees?

Early repayment fees apply. Please refer to Section (6) Repayments of our Terms of Engagement.

Our Offer

Flexible rates, set up and repayment fees

Fixed or variable rate finance available for up to 100% of your funding requirement.

Business with a human touch

Impersonal letters and automated telephone services are not our style, all clients are connected with a member of our team.

We are not algorithm driven

Each client is recognised as an individual and their business is assessed in the same way.

Personal tailored service

Loans available to all sectors that are designed to meet the needs of each client.

Flexible terms up to 5 years

Various repayment options available.

Find support to help you through your application here

The Application Process

Follow these steps to apply. We’re here to help throughout the process.



Once you click Apply you’ll be asked to register for an account. Here you can track and update your application profile. If you’re an existing client you can log in and pick up where you left off.



This is where you explain the nuts and bolts of your business. Questions are straight forward and designed to help us understand your need.



We don’t rely on computer generated decisions! At this point you may be asked to shed light on some further details; your own Investment Manager will be in touch.



If your application is successful it’s go time! We’ll transfer funds to your account and you can put them to use right away. If you’re unsuccessful we endeavour to provide feedback and guidance to help you in going forward.

What our clients say

Our clients tell the story best, see how our loans helped them.

"Thanks to the loan, we’re now able to implement our growth plan."

"The support from BEF has enabled us to revamp the deli and maintain our outstanding reputation. Mark and the team were so friendly and helped us through the process every step of the way."

"Throughout our journey so far, we have turned to BEF first for our funding requirements."