Bounce Back Loans, which are available to the smallest SME businesses are going live on Monday, 4 May.


These loans will be available up to 25% of your turnover, with a maximum loan of £50,000.


Bounce Back Loans are 100% guaranteed by the UK government and will bear interest at 2.5%. Loans can have a term of up to 6 years, like CBILS. This has all been set out in a public letter from Chancellor Rishi Sunak to all accredited lenders under the scheme.


The rest of the Chancellor’s letter addresses a number of regulatory and legislative matters that are more for the attention of the lenders than for entrepreneurs.


However, there is one important legal point that is relevant to sole traders, partnerships of less than 4 people and unincorporated associations. For loans of up to £25,000 under BBLS you will not be protected under the Consumer Credit Act 1974. This change has been made in order to ensure speed of access to getting the funds.


When he initially announced BBLS, the Chancellor made clear that this would be a simple process. It looks like there will be a short 2-page online application and most of the details will be self-certified. It is uncertain whether you’ll be required to upload accounts to validate your turnover or if you’ll just be self-certifying. If you’re planning on applying, I recommend that you have this information ready. Applications should be done through your existing business bank’s website and the BBLS loans should be live by 8.00 am on Monday, 4 May.


Good luck with it, and please let me know how you get on. I’ll be collating stories of people’s experiences with this scheme to share so that everyone has the best possible chance.


If a loan of £50,000 is not enough then you’ll need to apply for a CBILS loan.


CBILS loans now kick in at £50,001. Anyone who has already received a CBILS loan of £50,000 or less is able to convert that to a BBLS loan, which means you’ll get interest at just 2.5% and a 100% guarantee from the government. If you have a CBILS loan under fifty grand you should make this change.


CBILS loans are starting to get moving. Statistics published by UK Finance ( show:


  • By 6 April, almost 3 weeks after CBILS was announced, just £453 million of loans had been approved
  • By 15 April, the figure was up to £1.1 billion approved for 6,000 businesses
  • By 21 April it had grown to £2.8 billion approved for 16,000 businesses
  • By 28 April, a further £1.3 billion was lent, for a total of £4.1 billion lent to just over 25,000 businesses


So, there was a slowing down of CBILS loans in the last week, which I expect was due to the announcement of the BBLS scheme. It’s interesting though, because there are 5.8 million SME businesses in the UK and just 52,807 applications have been made under CBILS. That’s less than 1% of businesses to apply. I expect we’ll see a big change with the BBLS going live on Monday.