Many of the businesses using London Registrars’ company secretarial services, such as central London registered office addresses and register of shareholders maintenance, may be interested to learn that the UK Treasury has extended its emergency business loan scheme.

The news means that firms can now request to “top up” their borrowing, as the government looks to shore up businesses at a time of continuing restrictions to limit the spread of the coronavirus.

What do businesses need to know?

Companies in the UK have now been given until the end of January to apply for emergency business loans, including bounce back loans (BBLS), coronavirus business interruption loans (CBILS) and the CLBILS scheme for bigger firms. This is a two-month extension on the previous 30 November deadline, and also covers the Future Fund, which targets UK start-ups.

Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak stated on Twitter in early November: “To help more businesses access additional support, deadlines for applications to our government-backed loan scheme and the Future Fund have been further extended until 31 January 2021.”

The changes include previous small-business recipients of funds through the BBLS programme being entitled to ask for top-ups to existing loans if they require further cash. The Bounce Back Loan Scheme offers businesses cheap loans worth as much as £50,000.

The maximum amount available for firms to borrow through the BBLS scheme is 25% of their turnover, up to a £50,000 limit, and the top-up is intended to assist businesses that borrowed less than this amount.

A government document describing the changes read: “We understand that some businesses did not anticipate that the disruption to their business from the pandemic would go on for this long; this will ensure that they are able to benefit from the loan scheme as intended.”

The document also stated, however, that firms requesting a top-up would only be able to do so once.

Reality of second lockdown prompted a review of government-backed loans

The imposition of a second nationwide lockdown in England from early November seemingly accelerated the need for additional funding to support under-pressure businesses.

It led to the Treasury convening an emergency meeting with Britain’s largest banks, including HSBC, NatWest, Lloyds and Barclays, in order to review the government-backed loan programme’s terms.

Among those to welcome the Treasury’s announcement was Conservative MP Kevin Hollinrake, who also serves as co-chair of the all-party parliamentary group (APPG) on fair business banking.

However, he said a longer extension into mid-2021 would benefit firms, and that the top-ups should also apply to the bigger CBILS scheme, which enables businesses to borrow as much as £5 million, and comes with an 80% government guarantee.

Enquire now to learn more about how we could serve your company

Whatever the challenges that the next few months pose to your firm, we stand ready and waiting here at London Registrars to assist your company with its governance, risk and compliance requirements.

Call 020 7608 0011 or email [email protected] today to find out more about our basic company secretarial support packages, maintenance of the statutory registers and the minute book, Companies House filings and many other aspects of corporate governance.

December 2020