3 April 2020: Rishi Sunak has announced new support measures for businesses hit by the coronavirus crisis by bolstering business interruption loans for small businesses and announcing a new scheme for larger companies.

The Chancellor has announced the extension of the current Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) to all viable small businesses affected by COVID-19, in a move aimed at combatting fears that small and medium-sized businesses may become insolvent accessing emergency funds. 

In a statement, the government said the move is intended to “maximise the support available” and means that all small businesses will now be eligible “should they need finance to keep operating during this difficult time” – not just those unable to secure regular commercial financing.

New rules will prevent lenders from requesting personal guarantees for loans under £250,000, and the government has also stated that it will make operational changes to speed up lending approvals and continue to cover the first twelve months of interest and fees.