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What is the Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS)?

On 4 May 2020, the Government launched the Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS), which is intended to cut red tape to enable smaller businesses to access finance quickly during the coronavirus outbreak.

The scheme helps small and medium-sized businesses to borrow between £2,000 and up to 25% of their turnover. The maximum loan available is £50,000.

The government guarantees 100% of the loan and there are no any fees or interest to pay for the first 12 months. After 12 months the interest rate will be 2.5% a year.

The length of the loan is 6 years, but it can be repaid early without penalty. No repayments will be due during the first 12 months.

Under the scheme, lenders are not permitted to take any form of personal guarantee or take recovery action over a borrower’s personal assets (such as their main home or personal vehicle).

Businesses can apply for a BBLS loan if it:

  • is based in the UK
  • was established before 1 March 2020, and
  • has been adversely impacted by the coronavirus.

Any business regarded as being a business in difficulty on 31 December 2019 will need to confirm that it is complying with additional state aid restrictions.

Businesses from any sector can apply, except the following:

  • banks, insurers and reinsurers (but not insurance brokers)
  • public-sector bodies, and
  • state-funded primary and secondary schools.

Businesses already claiming under the following schemes cannot apply although it is possible to convert an existing loan under such schemes into BBLS:

  • Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS)
  • Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS)
  • COVID-19 Corporate Financing Facility.

There are 11 lenders participating in the scheme including many of the main retail banks, which are listed on the British Business Bank’s website (www.british-business-bank.co.uk/ourpartners/coronavirus-business-interruption-loan-schemes/bounce-back-loans/for-businesses-and-advisors/). Applicants are directed to approach a suitable lender via the lender’s website. If an applicant is declined by a lender, they can apply to other lenders in the scheme.

The lender will ask applicants to fill in a short online application form and self-declare that they are eligible. All lending decisions remain fully delegated to the accredited lenders.