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Recovery Loan Scheme (RLS) explained

What is the Recovery Loan Scheme (RLS)?

The Recovery Loan Scheme (RLS) was originally introduced in April 2021 to help businesses recover from the pandemic. The scheme was bolstered by a partially government-backed guarantee to make it easier for businesses to access loans for investment or working capital.

The RLS closed on June 30th 2024, but has been replaced by the Growth Guarantee Scheme.

Click here to visit our page on the Growth Guarantee Scheme.

Benefits of Recovery Loan Scheme (RLS)

Who is eligible for the RLS?

The RLS is open to businesses that are trading in the UK with a turnover of £45 million or less, as long as you can show that your business is viable and not in financial difficulty.

You do not need to have been impacted by the pandemic to apply.

If your business received support under the earlier COVID-19 loan guarantee schemes (e.g., Bounce Back Loan, Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan, Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan or an earlier phase of the RLS) can still apply.

Businesses from any sector can apply, with the exception of:

  • banks, building societies, insurers and reinsurers (insurance brokers can apply)
  • public sector bodies
  • state funded primary and secondary schools.

If they generate less than 50% of their turnover from trading activity AND have been impacted by the pandemic, charities and further education colleges may be eligible to apply.

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Recovery Loan Scheme (RLS) explained

How much could you borrow?

The Recovery Loan Scheme is intended to help businesses access the finance they need to grow. The loan can be used for any "legitimate business purpose", which includes using it as working capital or for investment.

Under the RLS businesses can apply for: 

  • term loans or overdrafts of between £25,001 and £2 million per business group
  • invoice or asset finance of between £1,000 and £2 million per business group
  • term loans or overdrafts of between £25,001 and £1 million for businesses in scope of the Northern Ireland Protocol
  • invoice or asset finance of between £1,000 and £1 million for businesses in scope of the Northern Ireland Protocol.

While you can still apply for the RLS if your business received support under an earlier COVID-19 loan guarantee scheme, the amount you can borrow now may be affected.

RLS loans can be used for several different business purposes such as investing in assets, growth, or managing cashflow.

RLS considerations

Things to consider before applying for the RLS

While the RLS is up to 70% backed by the government, you are responsible for repaying 100% of the loan (as well as any interest and fees agreed at the start of the process). The government guarantee doesn’t reduce your liability.

During the application process you will be subject to credit and fraud checks, as well as affordability assessments by lenders.

In some cases security may be required such as a provide a Personal Guarantee, however your primary residential property cannot be taken as security under the scheme.

The Recovery Loan Scheme is managed by the British Business Bank on behalf of, and with the financial backing of, the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. British Business Bank PLC is a development bank wholly owned by HM Government. It is not authorised or regulated by the PRA or the FCA.

Click here for the latest government information on the RLS.

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How to apply for the RLS scheme

At Bluestone, we understand that applying for commercial finance can be a daunting process, especially if you're unfamiliar with the requirements and criteria. That's why we're here to support you every step of the way.

Our team of finance experts have years of experience helping organisations secure the funding they need to cover their financial obligations. We'll work closely with you to understand your specific requirements and provide you with a range of financing options tailored to your needs.

Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you secure cashflow finance for your organisation,or you can email our Commercial Loans Specialist directly at

Boost your cashflow with finance from Bluestone.

Recovery Loan Scheme (RLS)

Frequently Asked Questions

What types of businesses are eligible for the Recovery Loan Scheme?

The below businesses are eligible:

  • Sole traders
  • Corporations
  • Limited partnerships
  • Limited Liability Partnerships (LLP)
  • Co-operatives and community benefit societies
  • Any other legal entity carrying out business activity in the UK.

Banks, building societies, insurance companies, public-sector bodies and state funded primary and secondary schools are not eligible.


What is the Recovery Loan Scheme?

The Recovery Loan Scheme (RLS) was introduced in April 2021 as a government-backed loan scheme to support access to finance for UK businesses as they look to invest and grow. In August 2022, it was announced that the scheme, which is administered by The British Business Bank on behalf of the Secretary of State for Business and Trade, would continue to run until June 2024 to help businesses handle the pressure of rising costs.


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