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    Where to find help for small businesses

    With the coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19) posing new and unique challenges for small businesses we've pulled together some useful resources that may help.

The coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19) presents new challenges for UK businesses presently. Over the last few weeks, the government have released a series of initiatives designed to support business owners during this difficult time.

We appreciate however, that keeping on top of new information and knowing how to access some of these supportive measures can be tough.

So we’ve condensed this information into an easy to digest overview of all the key announcements and we will continue to update this page. We hope you find it helpful.

What’s the government doing to help businesses?

In recent weeks, the chancellor, Rishi Sunak, has announced several measures designed to increase support and investment for UK businesses, these included:


Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS)

The largest of the announced funding measures is the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme or, CBILS, delivered via the British Business Bank (BBB) which, includes Business Finance, Invoice Finance, Overdrafts and Asset Finance options and enables loans of between £50,001 and £5m per business, representing a large part of the government's overarching £330bn rescue package.

Term loans and asset finance facilities are available for up to six years, overdrafts and invoice finance facilities are available for up to three years. Loans of less than £250,000 are unsecured.

The scheme has now been extended to cover all viable small and medium business who have faced financial difficulty during the COVID-19 pandemic. The government is also stopping lenders from requesting personal guarantees for loans under £250,000 and making operational changes to speed up lending approvals.

How does CBILS work?

For businesses: the initial 12 months of interest are covered by government, supporting SMEs to recover from the impact of the virus

For lenders: there is a government backed guarantee for 80% of the loan

To be eligible, businesses must:

  • Be UK based with an annual turnover of no more than £45 million;
  • Have a borrowing proposal which, were it not for the coronavirus outbreak, be considered viable by the lender and;
  • Be able to prove that they could continue trading through any short to medium-term difficulty
How do you apply for CBILS?

White Oak UK is an accredited lender on the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) and now taking applications. Find out more on the scheme below and see if your business is eligible to apply.

Check Eligibility & Apply Now


Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS)

The Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS) provides financial support to mid-sized and larger UK businesses across the UK that are losing revenue, and seeing their cashflow disrupted, as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.

The scheme is a part of a wider package of government support for UK businesses and employees.

Specifically, it facilitates access to finance for businesses with a turnover above £45 million, the upper limit for the existing smaller-business focused Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS).

How does CLBILS work?

CLBILS will be available through a range of British Business Bank accredited lenders and partners, which will be listed on the British Business Bank website.

A lender can provide:

  • up to £25 million to businesses with turnover from £45 million up to £250 million
  • up to £50 million to businesses for those with a turnover of over £250 million

Finance is available in the form of:

  • term loans
  • revolving credit facilities (including overdrafts)
  • invoice finance
  • asset finance

CLBILS gives the lender a government-backed partial guarantee (80%) against the outstanding balance of the facility. The borrower remains fully liable for the debt.

Under the scheme, personal guarantees of any form will not be taken for facilities below £250,000.

For facilities above £250,000, personal guarantees may still be required, but claims cannot exceed 20% of losses after all other recoveries have been applied.

To be eligible, businesses must:

  • Be UK-based in its business activity
  • Have an annual turnover of more than £45 million
  • Have a borrowing proposal which the lender would consider viable, were it not for the current pandemic, and for which the lender believes the provision of finance will enable the business to trade out of any short-term to medium-term difficulty
  • Self-certify that it has been adversely impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19)
  • Not have received a facility under the Bank of England’s Covid Corporate Financing Facility (CCFF).
How do you apply for CLBILS?

To apply, businesses should speak to their bank or accredited CLBILS lender firstly. This is not available directly through White Oak UK.

Additional support announced includes:

Bounce Back Loan

The latest Government scheme will help small and medium-sized businesses affected by coronavirus (COVID-19) to apply for loans of up to £50,000.

The government will guarantee 100% of the loan and there won’t be any fees or interest to pay for the first 12 months. Find out more on gov.uk here.

Future Fund

The Government has announced a new scheme to issue convertible loans to innovative companies which are facing financing difficulties due to the Coronavirus outbreak: the Future Fund.

The Government will initially make up to £250,000,000 available in total for the scheme. More here.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Self-employment Income Support Scheme

This scheme will allow you to claim a taxable grant worth 80% of your trading profits up to a maximum of £2,500 per month for the next 3 months. This may be extended if needed. More here.

Covid Corporate Financing Facility (CCFF)

The CCFF will provide funding to businesses by purchasing commercial paper of up to one-year maturity, issued by firms making a material contribution to the UK economy. It will help businesses across a range of sectors to pay wages and suppliers, even while experiencing severe disruption to cashflows. More here.

VAT holiday

The UK Government announced temporary changes to the VAT payments due between 20 March 2020 and 30 June 2020 to help businesses manage their cash flow. If you chose to defer payments, you must pay the VAT due on or before 31 March 2021.

Time To Pay Scheme

SMEs can request a suspension of HMRC debt collection activities, although this is to be assessed on a case-by-case basis.

Support for Charities

Charities across the UK will receive a £750 million package of support to ensure they can continue their vital work during the coronavirus outbreak. More Here.

Support for businesses that pay little/no business rates

There is a one-off grant of £10,000 available to these businesses through the SBBR and RRR schemes.

Support for businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors

Business rates will not be due for this year, with an additional £25,000 grant available to some businesses where the rateable value is between £15,000 and £51,000.

Other useful business resources

For up to date guidance and new measures from the Government, we recommend that businesses visit the following sources:

British Business Bank

See the British Business Bank response to the 2020 Budget, including Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS).

The BBB have a useful list of certain sectors excluded from CBILS - full eligibility list is available here (pdf).

Government Guidance: Support for Businesses

See this page on on gov.uk for information on;

  • Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
  • VAT and Income Tax payments
  • Support for businesses who are paying sick pay to employees and business rates

See this page on gov.uk for guidance for employees, employers and businesses in providing advice about the novel coronavirus 

To help you find the right support, advice and information to help with the impact of coronavirus on your business, you may find the Government’s Business Support Hub as useful resource.

Guidance for Small Businesses

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has collated information and advice for employers in relation to COVID-19.

Full information can be found on the FSB website here.

Advice by Sector

Meetings and Events
Music Industry

Why choose White Oak UK?

  • No red tape, so you can receive funds in as little as 24 hours
  • We accept 4 out of every 5 applications
  • Apply quickly and easily with E-sign loan documents
  • You’ll always speak to the same person
  • Free up cash flow for other areas of your business
  • Tailored finance agreements to suit your specific needs

Views from the flipside

What our customers say

We could not have been happier. Banks as usual were a nightmare - they took over six weeks to eventually refuse for vague reasons unexplained. White Oak UK were professional, helpful, friendly, and best of all, fast.

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