Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme eligibility rules relaxed

23rd July 2020

From 30 July 2020 the rules are changing on the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) so that more businesses may qualify.

This results from changes in EU State Aid rules relating to the ‘undertaking in difficulty’ test for businesses.

This means that smaller businesses with fewer than 50 employees and less than £9m in annual turnover and/or annual balance sheet will not be considered undertakings in difficulty unless they are:

  1. subject to collective insolvency procedure under national law, or
  2. in receipt of rescue aid (which has not been repaid) or restructuring aid (and are still subject to a restructuring plan).

Smaller businesses with more than 50 employees or more than £9m in annual turnover and/or annual balance sheet will still be subject to the ‘Undertaking in Difficulty’ test as defined by the EU.

Applicants will need to determine their turnover and number of employees in line with Commission Recommendation 2003/361/EC of 6 May 2003 concerning the definition of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises.

This change means lenders may now be able to offer CBILS to businesses who had previously been unable to access the scheme.

The Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS) is unaffected by this change.

Further information was published on 30 July:Letter from HM Treasury and BEIS to UK Finance on EU State Aid changes


Bishop Fleming has a team of fundraising specialists ready to advise clients through Coronavirus. As a partner of Capitalise, we have access to 100+ lenders to provide businesses with the opportunity to secure the right kind of funding. Our Capitalise team will support you through all stages of the funding process.

Find out more about raising finance through Capitalise here.

Check out our Business after COVID-19: Transition Knowledge Hub for more guidance and advice on managing the pandemic.


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