CBILS extended: printers urged to consider options

Jo Francis
Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Print bosses have been urged to take advantage of CBILS finance while they still can, after the taxpayer-backed scheme was extended for three months.

CBILS: funding is targeted at firms of all sizes
CBILS: funding is targeted at firms of all sizes

Last week prime minister Boris Johnson announced that the three loan schemes – the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS), the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS) and the Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS) would be extended until 31 January 2021.

In addition, small businesses that have used the Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS) can apply for a ‘top up’ from their existing lenders.

Roger Aust, managing director of Close Brothers Asset Finance’s specialist print team, commented: “The CBILS scheme provides vital working capital for smaller businesses in the UK who are experiencing lost or deferred revenues due to coronavirus and we are very pleased the scheme has been extended to 31 January 2021.

“Since becoming accredited, Close Brothers Asset Finance has helped multiple print firms access CBILS, using it to, for example, fund the purchase of new presses, or restructure finance agreements to raise additional working capital.”

David Bunker, director at Compass Business Finance, described the CBILS extension as “a lifeline to some, an opportunity for others”, because the loan scheme can help with working capital, and with restructuring overheads.

“What the extension has done, coupled with some help from the furlough scheme, has meant that those companies that want to do something next year – such as replacing machinery – are able to access the CBILS scheme,” he said. 

“It’s pushed the possible access to CBILS through to August. Get the application in in January, then get approval at the end of February. For suppliers it’s good news, and for customers it’s a no obligation option – they can always not take it up.”

According to the latest figures from HM Treasury, CBILS funding of £17.16bn had been made as at 18 October, with more than 73,000 approved facilities from 159,277 applications.

The CLBILS scheme for larger companies had approved 623 loans totalling £4.57bn.

The biggest scheme is the Bounce Back Loan for SMEs and micro businesses, with more than 1.3 million successful applications representing funding of £40.2bn.

Bunker urged print bosses to familiarise themselves with the schemes if they had not already done so. 

“It’s also important to note that you can have more than one facility, up to the £5m of CBILS cover. There’s no harm in putting together a plan that has CBILS registered against it. People are very busy thinking about what they need to do,” Bunker said.

“Ultimately, we’re all hoping that we will be returning to some form of normal next year.”

A wide range of print businesses have already accessed CBILS finance, with some firms taking the opportunity to revamp their offerings with new services, or to improve efficiencies.

British Business Bank operates CBILS via a network of accredited lenders. There are more than 100 including high street banks, local lenders, and asset-based lenders.

A lender can provide up to £5m in the form of: term loans, overdrafts, invoice finance and asset finance.

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