The Bounce Bank Loan (BBLS) application is now available to small businesses from 4 May, but how easy is it to apply for this potentially business saving loan?
“I’d never have thought we’d be forced to take out a business loan, but sadly the time has come – income has stopped, and cash reserves will eventually run out. The uncertainty means we need cash now to cover the worst-case scenario – and after all this I’m not leaving anything to chance again”, explains Jonathan Ratcliffe from commercial office agency Offices.co.uk.
The BBLS loan is designed to be super simple. The Government covers interest for the first 12 months, then the rate is set at 2.5% – the loan term is 6-years/72 months. You can borrow up to 25% of your turnover in the 2019 accounting period [1 April 2019 to 31 March 2020), however you may estimate this if you don’t know.
“The process was a little confusing – I started at Gov.uk but then was bounced to british-business-bank.co.uk which presented me a web page error. I refreshed this page, and it seemed to work, not the best start and in the World of phishing I thought it was a weird web address to be sent to! What is not clear is that the loans may well be backed by the Government, but they are administered by high street banks. You would be better to go to your bank directly to start the loan process,” Ratcliffe said.
To apply for the Bounce Back loan, you must be:
- A UK business which has been negatively affected by coronavirus
- You have not applied for any other loan from another Covid-19 scheme
- Your business has not been in financial trouble prior to the crisis
“Once we started the process with Santander (our bank) things were very simple, the only research I needed to do was work out our turnover in the last financial year – and input around 5 pieces of information such as company number, address, turnover, bank sort/account details and of course how much we needed to borrow – honestly is was very easy indeed”, adds Jonathan Ratcliffe
“The Bounce Bank loan is great from our point of view. The process extremely easy, early repayments are accepted, so hopefully things don’t get too bad and you can repay the loan early. My worry is that things drag on and we eat into the loan – but we have no choice. My advice is just go to your business bank directly!”, concluded Jonathan Ratcliffe from commercial office agency Offices.co.uk.