5 ways SMEs can use CBILS to help their business

Business Insights

Small businesses have until the end of March to apply for interest and fee-free funding through the Coronavirus Business Interruption Scheme (CBILS).

It feels as though the CBILS deadline has been pushed back more times than we’ve heard the word ‘unprecedented’. But the final day to apply for up to £5 million of funding is currently 31 March. As long as your application has been started by then, you’ll qualify for the scheme, subject to approval.

Why bother with CBILS? The scheme is backed by the government, which will cover the interest and fees on the amount borrowed for the first 12 months. For any businesses that have been negatively impacted by the pandemic and the latest lockdown, it’s a useful and cheap way to get extra cash to help boost your business. CBILS allows you to weather the storm, focus on growth and keep things ticking over, without worrying about interest rates or fees for the first year.

There are four main types of funding available through the CBILS: business loans, revolving credit, overdrafts and asset finance. Every business has nuanced cash flow concerns, so the right one to go for depends on your needs. You can even combine these to have multiple facilities on the go at once. 

At MarketFinance we’re CBILS-accredited and have two facilities available through the scheme. We offer business loans for a quick cash injection, along with a revolving credit facility that lets you unlock the funds tied up in your invoices. Once you have an idea of the amount you could borrow, here are just a few ways you could put those funds to good use.

  1. Use it to cover staff costs and boost productivity – Your people are your most valuable asset, so making sure you can pay them on time and in full is an important priority. A CBILS facility, or regular revolving credit, can help you cover payroll without impacting other areas of your business. If you’ve had to furlough employees since the latest lockdown then this cash could go towards bringing them back. Or, use your increased working capital to take on temporary contractors or hire freelancers. Your business productivity will go up and using a CBILS facility means it won’t cost you. 


  1. Fund increased production – Being able to manufacture more or take on new accounts will help with your revenue. But, often they require purchasing materials, paying factory deposits or upgrading equipment. Taking advantage of the funds available now to fund this expansion and improvement is a useful way of tapping into the next stage of growth you're looking to hit.


  1. Expand your e-commerce capabilities – Maybe you’ve been thinking about how to make your website more slick or digitising more of your services? Upgrading or launching tech requires capital, but when it’s a way of facilitating purchases it’s worth the expense. Investing in new online sales systems, additional customer service staff or more delivery vehicles and drivers could help tide you over more than simply having cash in your bank account. With the capital to cover set up costs, your business could tap into new markets and..


  1. Bridge cash flow gaps – Do you often wait months for your invoices to be paid? Invoice-backed finance and revolving credit facilities help you manage your cash flow regardless of when your customer settles their invoice. Access your cash when you raise an invoice so you have steam in the tank to kick off new contracts. 


  1. Upgrade your offices or work environments – We might not know when we’ll all be returning to our workplaces, but are you adequately prepared? Do you want to invest in testing policies or non-contact thermometers? Do you have the funds to improve social distancing or screen installation in the workplace, along with more regular cleaning rotas and hand sanitising stations? 

The British Business Bank has a complete list of accredited CBILS lenders, which includes traditional high street banks and fintech alternative lenders. As always, chat to your accountant, broker or financial advisor if you want to talk about which lender is best for your needs.

If you’d like to hear more about the CBILS facilities we offer and discuss which might be right for your business, head to www.marketfinance.com/cbils.