The government’s new Recovery Loan Scheme aims to support UK businesses of any size as they recover from the pandemic, with loans between £25,000 and £10m
The UK government’s new Recovery Loan Scheme (RLS) replaced the previous Covid-19 debt schemes – the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS), the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS) and the Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS), all of which closed to new applicants on 31 March 2021.
The Recovery Loan Scheme launched on 6 April 2021 and closes on 31 December 2021, “subject to review”.
UK businesses of any size can apply for a loan or overdraft. This is the main difference between the Recovery Loan Scheme (RLS) and the coronavirus finance support schemes it replaces (BBLS, CBILS, CLBILS). With the RLS there are no restrictions on turnover.
Your business must however meet certain criteria in order to access the scheme. Specifically, your business must:
If a lender can offer finance on normal commercial terms without the need to make use of the scheme, they may do so.
Three more things to note:
Yes, your business can apply for finance under the Recovery Loan Scheme (RLS) even if you’ve borrowed under BBLS, CBILS or CLBILS. You might be able to borrow more under the RLS than you have already – though the maximum you can borrow will depend on your lender’s assessment and the scheme requirements.
The amount your business can borrow under the Recovery Loan Scheme depends which type of finance you choose. There are two main types of finance.
Term lengths depend on the type of finance (product) you choose.
There are two key differences:
The Recovery Loan Scheme operates in a similar way to the existing support measures, with the government giving lenders an 80% guarantee. This means that if a business defaults on the loan, the lender can recoup 80% of the outstanding value of the loan from the government. This guarantee gives lenders confidence to lend to businesses. As the borrower, you are always 100% liable for the debt.
If your application is successful you can use your Recovery Loan Scheme finance for any legitimate business purpose, including managing cash flow, investment and growth.
While several lenders have stated publicly that they plan to take part, the British Business Bank has yet to confirm which lenders will be involved.
We understand that the British Business Bank is inviting all CBILS/CLBILS lenders to participate in an accelerated accreditation process as long as they meet the relevant criteria. We’ll update keep you updated.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced the Recovery Loan Scheme as part of the Spring Budget on 3 March 2021.
In addition to the Recovery Loan Scheme, which provides debt finance to businesses, the government announced a second scheme as part of the Spring Budget in March. Future Fund: Breakthrough replaces the Future Fund and will see the government investing equity (alongside the private sector) in fast growing innovative firms. It launches in early summer of 2021.
We will keep this page updated as and when we have more information from the government.
Arabella is a former BBC business journalist who began her career as a policy analyst at the Bank of England and Financial Conduct Authority, and more recently worked in the communications and policy team at the British Business Bank.
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