Is CBILS coming to an end?
CBILS is the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme and was devised to provide financial support to SME’s (Small and Medium Sized Enterprises) across the UK who experienced loss of revenue and disrupted cashflow as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
CBILS is provided through the British Business Bank and has been available via a group of accredited lenders.
Since its inception in Spring 2020, the government has significantly expanded CBILS with changes to eligibility criteria during that time.
If you are still considering a CBILS loan and want further information on the scheme, please click the link below:
However, despite several extensions to CBILS, it is due to come to an end on 31st March 2021.
So, a couple of questions need to be considered:
- Will there be a further extension?
- Is it too late to make an application.
- What should business owners do to prepare for the end of CBILS?
1 – Will there be a further extension?
On 31st March 2021 unless there is another extension both CBILS and BBLS (Bounce Back Loan Scheme) will come to an end. However, bearing in mind the pandemic continues apace, there has been a suggestion that there could be a further extension.
There have also been discussions of a new government-guaranteed loan scheme being put in place, however information remains sketchy.
More information could be made available in the Chancellor’s budget on 3rd March 2021.
2 – Is it too late to make an application for CBILS or BBLS?
If you think your business is going to need an injection of cash – don’t delay. Make sure you start the process of putting in an application now and don’t leave it to the last minute.
Both schemes, CBILS and BBLS remain open, and applications are still being accepted. Both CBILS and BBLS are available to help businesses who need a cash injection – so take advantage of what’s available – now!
3 – What should business owners do to prepare for the end of CBILS?
Firstly, don’t wait until 31st March to react. Start reviewing your situation now and planning your cashflow over the coming months. That means, knowing your numbers.
As a business owner, it is vital to make sure that you are on top of your numbers.
Look ahead over the next few months and answer the following questions:
- What is your turnover and profitability looking like over the next few months?
- How much cash does your business have and how much does it need to survive?
- How many days/weeks/months can your business survive before you run out of cash?
These are hard questions, but they need to be answered honestly. When it comes to cash flow, now is definitely not the time to bury your head in the sand.
In answering these questions honestly, if it becomes clear that your business could benefit from a cash injection, then it might be wise to consider either CBILS or BBLS.
If you need help making an application, you can either speak to your bank or alternatively you can speak to a commercial finance broker. If you’re not sure who to approach, contact the National Association of Commercial Finance Brokers (NACFB) www.nacfb.org who have over 2,000 members and will be able to help you.
As I mentioned at the start of this post, there will undoubtedly be calls for the Government to extend its support through CBILS and BBLS especially with the uncertainty over when this current lockdown will end. However, there is only so much the Chancellor will be able to do.
So, with no guarantee that the schemes will be extended, I suggest businesses and their advisers take control and move quickly to ensure they have secured the necessary funding they need to help with what looks to be another challenging year ahead.