The Bounce Back Loans scheme was launched in May 2020 to provide financial support to businesses across the UK that are losing revenue and seeing their cashflow disrupted as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The scheme allows small businesses to borrow between £2,000 and £50,000 and access the cash in most cases within 24 hours of approval.
The scheme was launched for an initial period of 6 months but has now been extended (together with all the government-backed loan schemes) until 31 January 2021. The loans come with a 100% government guarantee and businesses can apply for a loan of up to 25% of their turnover. The government will also pay the interest on these loans for the first 12 months and no repayments will be due during this time. After 12 months the interest rate will be 2.5% a year.
It is also now possible for businesses to ‘top up’ existing Bounce Back Loans should they need additional funding. This applies to businesses who borrowed less than their maximum loan allowance. Businesses will be required to fill out a separate application form, reaffirming the declarations made in the original application form and will only be able to make one top-up application.
The scheme is available through a network of 28 British Business Bank accredited lenders including the five largest banks. Banks will not perform any forward-looking test of business viability or other complex eligibility criteria for these loans. Businesses can instead apply for a loan online using a short and simple online form.