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How Startups and SMEs can Streamline the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme Applications

If you’ve been following the news recently, you’ve heard that the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme allows companies with a turnover up to £45m to borrow up to £5m with the first 12 months interest free, with repayment terms up to 6 years.
Does it apply to startups and SMEs?

Yes, which by the sounds of it is interesting, but there is criteria to be eligible for support via the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme. Applicants must:

  • Be UK-based with annual turnover of no more than £45m;
  • Have 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;
  • NOT operate in one of the sectors that are not eligible, including banks, building societies, insurers and reinsurers, the public sector, membership organisations or trade unions.

As suggested by the British Business Bank, early-stage businesses in their first 2 years of trading could also apply for the StartUp Loans Program.

What do I need to apply?

You have to prepare your company well otherwise you could risk delays in your application. The good news is that we've compiled a ready-made list.

  • Last 6 months’ bank statements;
  • Latest management accounts
  • Full annual accounts (last 3 years ideally);
  • Business plan including cash flow forecast.
  • See full requirements on our Coronavirus Business Interruption Page

How do I streamline the process?

  • Keep your documents in order. Transparency into the financial state of your business is an absolute must.
  • Take swift action to update your bookkeeping, the words “amazing,” “life-saving,” and “love” probably don’t come to mind here, but it is necessary!
  • Be able to show clearly the financial health of your business. Many small business owners find accounting and accurate record keeping are chores that tend to be put off, leading to chaotic and inaccurate records and no real picture of the financial status of your company. This is something that does need to change - and there are many new accounting apps like Accountancy Cloud available to help.
  • Be able to show clearly what you need the money for. You need to be able to explain the purpose of the loan, that you’ll use the loan proceeds to retain workers, maintain payroll, etc. — given what we’re seeing in the startup economic climate right now, this seems likely to be applicable for many startups.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help, you can use an accounting partner that's qualified to navigate you through the application.
  • Do consider alternative means of funding. Check out our blog on how to stay on top of cashflow, we've pulled together some options for you.

We're always here to help, do speak to our team at hello@theaccountancycloud.com or contact us.