Guide to SMEs_Article image_long,This is part of our free series, Guide for SMEs, which aims to provide practical, actionable advice for small food and drink brands affected by the coronavirus crisisIt has been a hot few months since the Treasury rushed to roll out what seemed like a solution to every small business’ cashflow problem during the coronavirus pandemic: the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, or CBILS.As is now well-known, things weren’t as easy as they seemed, with the scheme coming under fire multiple times for its unclear eligibility criteria, demanding personal guarantees and more.And while those issues have since been ironed out, the whole application process – with its multiple detailed steps – might still cause some panic among SME founders.So The Grocer spoke to Atom bank to create a step-by-step guide to nail your CBILS application and secure that much-needed funding.Step 1: Understand what it is you actually want/need“CBILS has been initiated to support businesses through a stage of acute shock,” says David Castling, director of intermediary lending at Atom. “What we mean by this is that under normal, non-Covid circumstances, these businesses would be thriving and accepted by the majority of banks, should they need to apply for finance.”Since the scheme allows businesses to apply for funding based on a proportion of turnover or a company’s liquidity needs, he adds, it is “vital” enough money is applied for by the business to ensure its survival.Step 2: Get some adviceIf you are unclear about what your needs may be or how to secure the funding, speak to someone with a good view of the market.“ An independent broker can guide the business through the best solution and in turn the best lender to meet the needs of the firm,” Castling adds.“A good broker will also be able to help you avoid any potential pitfalls and would evaluate immediately if your potential application would meet the baseline eligibility of both the CBILS scheme and the lending criteria of the selected lender.“We understand that no business seeking finance wants to be turned down, but the only kind of good ‘no’ is a quick one. This will save time and effort on your part and allow you to seek alternative solutions.”Step 3: Preparing for your loan applicationApplications vary from lender to lender, so once again having a good broker will help you make sure you tick all the boxes of the one you have selected.Ensure you have everything you need to support your application before sending it in, Castling recommends.“The more effort put in at this stage, the slicker and speedier the loan application process will be.”Atom, for example, requires businesses to provide the following documents to properly evaluate a CBILS form:Application formCBILS supplementary formALIE (assets, liabilities, income, expenditure)Accounts for the past two yearsUp-to-date management informationConsent to credit searchStep 4: Application submissionOnce you have prepared all the relevant documents, submit them to the lender, which will then review them and carry out a number of background checks on you and your business.Step 5: Agreement in PrincipleIf your business meets all the criteria, you then proceed to the next step and the lender will be able to give a decision on whether they are able to provide you finance.“At this stage we call this an Agreement in Principle,” explains Casting. “This agreement is subject to a suitable valuation being carried out and the completion of all required legal work.”Step 6: Valuation/legal processA qualified valuer will then be instructed to carry out a valuation on your business premises, where they will visit the business and return a valuation figure to the lender for review.Additionally, at this stage, a suitably qualified law firm will carry out the legal work required associated with a loan application.Step 7: Loan offerOnce the business has been valued in line with initial expectations and if the application still meets all other criteria, the lender will be able to provide a full loan offer to you at this stage.Step 8: CompletionAfter completion of all legal work, the lender will liaise with you and your broker to establish the completion date and when the money will be released to you.
MORE: Popovich rips ‘deranged idiot’ Donald Trump, other politiciansFloyd, a 46-year-old black man, died May 25 in Minneapolis after a white police officer knelt on his neck for over eight minutes. The officer, Derek Chauvin, faces charges of second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. The three other officers at the scene were charged with aiding and abetting murder and manslaughter. All four officers were fired.”In a strange, counterintuitive sort of way, the best teaching moment of this recent tragedy, I think, was the look on (Chauvin’s) face,” Popovich said. “For white people to see how nonchalant, how casual, just how everyday-going-about-his job, so much so that he could just put his left hand in his pocket, wriggle his knee around a little bit to teach this person some sort of a lesson — and that it was his right and his duty to do it, in his mind.” “It’s got to be us that speak truth to power, that call it out no matter the consequences. We have to not let anything go. Our country is in trouble and the basic reason is race.”#SpursVoices pic.twitter.com/uTyOIzGnTg— San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) June 6, 2020Popovich said it’s time for white people to help lead a change after “black people have been shouldering this burden for 400 years.” “The only reason this nation has made the progress it has is because of the persistence, patience and effort of black people,” he said. “The history of our nation from the very beginning in many ways was a lie, and we continue to this day, mostly black and brown people, to try to make that lie a truth so that it is no longer a lie. And those rights and privileges are enjoyed by people of color, just like we enjoy them.”So it’s got to be us, in my opinion, that speak truth to power, and call it out, no matter what the consequences. We have to speak. We have to not let anything go.” When Spurs coach Gregg Popovich watched George Floyd’s death on video, it reminded him of what he’d seen in history books. He didn’t expect to see it in 2020.”I think I’m just embarrassed as a white person to know that that can happen,” Popovich said in a video on the Spurs’ Twitter account. “To actually watch a lynching. We’ve all seen books, and you look in the books and you see black people hanging off of trees, and you are amazed. But we just saw it again. I never thought I’d see that, with my own eyes, in real time.”