Assistance with Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (“CBILS”) applications

Responding to the disruption and overall impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), the UK government has introduced the CBILS provided by the British Business Bank for loans up to a value of £5 million, available on repayment terms of up to six years for term loans and asset finance facilities. For overdrafts and invoice finance facilities, terms will be up to three years.

Smaller businesses from most sectors (not that there are trades and organisations which are not eligible to apply under the CBILS) can apply for the full amount of the facility. To be eligible for a facility under CBILS, SMEs must:

  • Conduct its business activity in the UK and have an annual turnover of <£45 million; and
  • Put forward a borrowing proposal which, were it not for the current pandemic, would be considered viable by the lender, and for which the lender believes the provision of finance will enable the business to trade out of any short-to-medium term difficulty.

Given our work as a law firm is helping companies raise finance we believe we are well placed to help companies improve their proposals so as to ensure they stand the best chance of securing this important funding from the banks at such a turbulent and critical time. Where necessary we can also work alongside accountants and other professionals we know well to cover any particularly technical aspects of your proposal.

What we can do to help you 

We offer in the first instance a 20-minute no cost, no obligation call to discuss the historic and current trading of your business and identify the amount of loan you are seeking.

We can then review the bank’s criteria and provide an assessment of the likelihood of your business securing the funding sought.

A central aspect of CBILS applications is ensuring you provide the lender with clear reasons as to why the funding is needed, and we can assist with compiling a list of compelling reasons so as to maximise the probability of the application being successful at first attempt.

We can put you in touch with our preferred accountancy practice who can assist with the preparation of relevant forecasts, which will seek to illustrate the short- and long-term position of your business and which will apply the COVID-19 mitigating circumstances.

As lawyers, we are used to presenting information in a clear and persuasive way which will help ensure that not only there are no undue delays in the process due to poorly presented information, but also you maximise your chances of success.

We can then send your application to the lender and assist with any ongoing negotiations with the bank on your behalf so as to ensure that both parties are comfortable with the terms and the covenants in the agreement are reasonable and not overly burdensome on your company.

Given that we are still a relatively small law firm we can provide a personal touch to our services which means we can 1) be more cost effective than more established firms and 2) be more responsive and always get back to you within a reasonable time frame (which will be key as the need for funding is likely to be pressing given the prevailing climate).

If you would like our assistance with making a CBILS application, please send an email to wewillhelp@jonathanlea.net or call our office on 01444 708640 and we will be delighted to assist.

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