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Charities may be eligible for Coronavirus loan help

The government’s Coronavirus Business interruption Loan scheme (CBILS) may be more relevant than first thought

The government’s Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) has been set up to help businesses affected by the Coronavirus disruption, providing mainly loan finance up to £5m (or £250k unsecured) for businesses with a turnover below £45m.

  • Repayments can be made over terms up to six years,
  • The government backs 80% of the loan amount
  • Interest and fees are paid for 12 months by the government

Because of the focus on business and trading in all of the guidance, many charities have been ruling themselves out, believing that because they don’t trade (in a charity law sense), or have a trading arm, they don’t qualify.

However, the definition of trading in the CBILS documentation is wider than the narrow Charity definition, and fundraising and spending on the cause could be considered as trading under the definition agreed with British Business Bank. Some charities’ activity may not be covered but it is worth charities applying to their Bank and going through the initial eligibility triage and questions.

 There’s no guarantee that your charity will be eligible, and there are other exclusions covering professional, religious and membership bodies, but look carefully at the guidance and if it looks relevant, and of course if the scheme is appropriate in the first place, have the first stage conversation with your bank – which is the first step for everyone applying to the scheme.

You can find out more here: https://www.british-business-bank.co.uk/ourpartners/coronavirus-business-interruption-loan-scheme-cbils/