Backing UK businesses through COVID-19 and beyond
Backing UK businesses through COVID-19 and beyond
Across the country, Barclays colleagues are working flat out to support businesses through these uncertain times, getting appropriate funding to those that need it, and offering broader support to help them deal with the impact of COVID-19.
We are doing this as active participants in Government-backed initiatives like the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) and Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS), as well as with our own additional support measures like the introduction of free everyday banking1 for 650,000 small and medium-sized businesses. This hub page includes just some of the ways we’re helping local businesses through this period and beyond.
The CBILS loan will give the company enough fuel to get through this uncertain time and be ready to bounce back when demand returns.
Cumbrian manufacturer uses Barclays’ help to give itself a lifeline
Playdale Playgrounds is a British success story that has a history of designing, manufacturing and installing playground equipment for over 40 years across the UK, and was exporting to over fifty countries through a distribution model.
But as coronavirus spread around the world, its order book dried up and soon the business was surviving hour by hour. So it was crucial that owner Barry Leahey was able to get support quickly, “I appreciate having a personal relationship with my bank and someone I can pick up the phone to. My bank manager Phil has been very accessible, including evenings and weekends. It is what customer service should feel like.”
The support has had an immediate impact, says Barclays Relationship Director, Philip Royle, “The CBILS loan will give the company enough fuel to get through in this uncertain time and be ready to bounce back when demand returns.”
Food manufacturer prioritises paying back the companies supplying its 1,000 ingredients with Barclays' support
Around Noon was enjoying a great start to 2020. But as a sandwich, salad and snack maker for the hospitality and travel sectors, as well as high street stores, many of their clients have since closed their doors and reduced orders.
As soon as the business was impacted by coronavirus (COVID-19), Chairman Howard Farquhar got in touch with his Relationship Director at Barclays, John Mathers, and they worked together to apply for CBILS support.
The loan was approved quickly, which was also good news for Around Noon’s supply chain. Howard said, “We work closely with over 100 companies across the UK and Ireland to provide us with over 1,000 ingredients and this money will ensure we are in a position to make timely payments to these suppliers over the next few months.”
We work closely with over 100 companies across the UK and Ireland …this money will ensure we are in a position to make timely payments to these suppliers over the next few months.
Being able to stay open means we can support NHS workers through our customer-funded scheme that gives free rides to these key workers between their homes and local hospitals.
Minicab platform stays open and provides free rides to NHS staff with Barclays' support
As a nationwide online comparison site for booking minicabs, London-based tech firm Minicabit has been heavily impacted by the sharp reduction in travel across the UK. However, owner Amer Hasan felt that it was important to keep the platform running so that customers, including key workers, could still find transport when they needed it.
Barclays Relationship Director, Gavin Smith has helped Minicabit to successfully apply for a CBILS loan, which is enabling the company to continue to connect customers with hundreds of local minicab companies across the UK.
The platform has also been able to give back to the people fighting on the frontline against coronavirus. “Being able to stay open also means we can support NHS workers through our customer-funded scheme that gives free rides to these key workers between their homes and local hospitals” said Mr Hasan, “and our national coverage means that we can support essential workers even in rural areas.”
45 years banking with Barclays, a local garage owner is now ready for the future
Alresford Garage is a second generation business that repairs and sells cars in Essex, and has been banking with Barclays since 1975. Owner Mark Leigh initially tried to stay open to help customers with repairs but he has since had to close the garage temporarily.
“It happened quickly, so being able to call my Business Manager at Barclays and get through was very important. I was also encouraged that their immediate response to my request for support was “yes, we are here to help”, they were able to give me a couple of solutions very quickly,” said Mark.
Business Manager Wendy Bell was keen to support, “Alresford Garage hires a lot of local people around Colchester so we worked quickly”, she said. Barclays combined the garage’s commercial mortgages into one that was eligible for a capital repayment holiday. Wendy added, “Having banked with Barclays for 45 years, it’s good news that Alresford Garage can hopefully look forward to more successful years.”
I was encouraged that their immediate response to my request for support was ‘yes, we are here to help’, they were able to give me a couple of solutions very quickly.
I called Barclays and couldn’t have had a better experience…our Relationship Director Adam’s help has given us the confidence that we’ll still be here on the other side.
Titanic Brewery keeps afloat through difficult times with Barclays' support
Staffordshire-based Titanic Brewery is breathing a little easier after securing £1,000,000 from Barclays via the CBILS loan scheme, and securing a Capital Repayments Holiday on another loan.
The brewery was founded in 1985, employs over 200 staff, and produces over 3 million pints a year, but had to close its 13 pubs and café bars across Staffordshire when coronavirus hit. Barclays Relationship Director, Adam Edwards was ready to help, “we are determined to ensure that Titanic, as well as other local clients in our community, are still here when life returns to normal.”
The Brewery’s Director, Keith Bott said, “I called Barclays and couldn’t have had a better experience. We’d only just switched to Barclays when this crisis hit, and our Relationship Director Adam’s help has given us the confidence that we’ll still be here on the other side.”
Bath hotel and restaurant is keeping employees in work with Barclays’ support
Like many in the hospitality sector, this family run 4 AA-star hotel and restaurant had to shut its doors due to the impact of COVID-19, and is preparing for up to six months’ closure.
“In the space of seven days, we went from having our most successful year since opening to maybe losing everything we had built up over 18 years,” said the hotel’s owner, Helen Beere. But with the support of Barclays’ Relationship Director, Martin Crook, the business was able to quickly apply for a £450,000 loan through CBILS.
Helen added, “Being able to access CBILS means we still have a business…it means that we can pay our staff at the end of the month, and make sure we can pay all we owe to our small, local suppliers as well. Looking ahead, CBILS means that our business has a future and the loan means we can get through this period and plan with confidence for the future.”
Being able to access CBILS means we still have a business…it means that we can pay our staff at the end of the month, and make sure we can pay all we owe to our small, local suppliers as well.
We’ve been able to donate a shipment of protective masks to the NHS.
West Midlands entrepreneur uses Barclays CBIL finance to import medical supplies
Barclays helps thousands of UK businesses to import goods from around the world. However the national lockdown has had a significant impact on entrepreneurial importers such as Kulbir Soha, who runs importing firms, FCL Heath and FCL Group, from West Bromwich in the West Midlands.
“We have seen an 80% drop in demand for all product lines across the country in line with the forced closure of non-essential businesses,” said Kulbir. Barclays Relationship Director Lee Clarke has supported Kulbir for over ten years and has been able to help him secure loans through CBILS worth £1.3m.
As a result, FCL Health has been able to increase the amount of essential medical goods it can import into the UK, and Kulbir is directing these to where they’re needed most, “we’ve been able to donate a shipment of protective masks to the NHS. It’s important that everyone pulls together now.”
CBIL keeps wheels turning at Peterborough motorbike dealership
Motorcycling is a seasonal hobby for many, so when COVID-19 struck at the start of spring, it meant Peterborough-based Wheels Motorcycles would be closed during their peak trading months of the year.
“What we earn in the summer gets us through the winter,” said owner Neil Steen, “So in March, we were very busy but then bang, everything stopped.” Deeply concerned for his team of fifty colleagues, Neil called his Relationship Director, Steve, at Barclays to see what support was available. Fortunately, Steve was able to help Neil to successfully secure a £350,000 Barclays loan through CBILS.
Neil added, “We realised three months’ lockdown would mean we wouldn’t be here next summer; this CBILS loan gives us the opportunity to survive and to be here for our customers after the lockdown.”
This CBILS loan gives us the opportunity to be here for our customers after the lockdown.
We were determined to help as quickly as possible.
Barclays CBILS loan helps protects 120-year old South West family business
Whitehall Garden Centres is a fourth generation family business that’s grown out of a family farm started over 123 years ago. Today, it is one of the leading names in garden centres in the South West of England.
However, the horticultural industry has suffered as a result of the pandemic, and this company near Chippenham in Wiltshire turned to Barclays for help protecting its team of 275 employees, and its future. Managing Director, Peter Self, said the CBILS loan drawn down by the business means they can adapt and “focus on how we can best service our loyal gardening customers, with our online home delivery and click collect services”.
Barclays has worked with Peter for a number of years, and Relationship Director Martin Crook said he was “determined to help as quickly as possible”. As a result, Whitehall Garden Centres submitted a successful application which has given Peter the confidence to plan for their future.
West Yorkshire tanker manufacturer protects team with CBILS loan
TASCA Tankers are the UK's leading manufacturer of road tankers but the West Yorkshire company has felt the impact of coronavirus in its Wakefield Headquarters. With the slowdown of economic activity across the UK, much of the company’s business has fallen by the wayside.
Over twenty five years, Chief Executive Shaun Hart built a firm that encompasses every facet of building and maintaining road tankers, and when COVID-19 hit, he knew he had to act quickly to protect the growing business. His Barclays team were on hand to help. "It's great having someone we trust to explain the details and work through the different options available to us," said Shaun.
Barclays negotiated a £250,000 CBILS loan with Shaun, ensuring that TASCA tankers receives the support it needs to both secure the futures of its team of over 100 employees, and ensure the firm’s continued success.
It's great having someone we trust to work through the different options available to us.
This loan means we can continue playing an important role in the communities in which we’re based.
CBIL supports Essex nurseries temporarily closed by COVID-19
Sisters Jo and Liz have been expanding their successful small chain of Munchkins nurseries across Essex but COVID-19 has temporarily closed all three of their sites. “We had to shut our premises, furlough our 42 staff,” said Jo Callaghan, “and quickly find financial support to ensure we had a business to go back to.”
However, their Barclays Business Manager Rebecca Baird was straight on the phone when COVID-19 started impacting their business and worked to support the owners through the CBIL application process, leading to a £70,000 loan being drawn down.
Following the success, Rebecca said, “our good, trusting relationship meant we quickly decided a CBIL loan was the best way forward. I will continue to help the sisters through these challenging times so they can be for ready for hopefully a new term in September.”
CBIL helps Yorkshire rugby club keep eye on the ball
Barclays has helped West Yorkshire sports club, Dewsbury Rams RFC, to successfully apply for a CBILS loan. Established in 1875, the club has been a Barclays customer for decades. The funding enables the club to meet fixed costs, so the grounds and facilities will still be there for the supporters when public sports can resume.
Mark Sawyer, Chairman of Dewsbury Rams RFC said: “We were devastated to learn about the lockdown and the impact it would have on our historical club… Barclays stepped in to the breach and we’re hugely grateful that they have been able to provide a CBIL facility which will support the club over the coming months.”
Molly Nicholson, Barclays Relationship Manager, put together the funding package for the deal and said, “The COVID-19 has been so tough on sports clubs and it was brilliant that we were able to support the Rams.”
Barclays stepped in to the breach and we’re hugely grateful that they have been able to provide a CBIL facility.
Barclays’ support means our engineers are out helping schools and hospitals across the UK.
Barclays CBILS loan enables company to help NHS Nightingale hospitals
Peter Yeats’ P&S Electrical firm specialises in electrical testing and inspection. When coronavirus caused some customers to cancel planned works, their Barclays Business Manager Stuart Tibble helped them to secure a CBILS loan.
As a result, the company was able to offer its services free of charge to the NHS, who then asked Peter’s team to test the beds and medical equipment in the Nightingale hospital projects in London’s Excel centre and the NEC in Birmingham.
After providing 20 days’ free electrical work to the NHS, Peter said, “Barclays’ support means that rather than being stopped by coronavirus, our engineers are out helping schools and hospitals across the UK.”
His Barclays Business Manager, Stuart added, “Peter has put in an immense amount of effort, building up his business over the last few years, and it’s great that he could help the NHS in its hour of need.”
Barclays CBILS loan boosts support for frontline care givers
Whilst COVID-19 has forced many businesses to temporarily close, Chosen Care Group’s team has been providing domiciliary care to elderly and vulnerable people across Essex during the pandemic.
Chosen Care Group has been able to continue providing this at-home care to unwell individuals who otherwise may have had to stay in hospitals as a result of a £1,000,000 CBILS loan provided by Barclays, arranged quickly with the support of their Barclays Relationship Manager Julie O’Sullivan.
The loan has also enabled the company to pay enhanced rates to their nurses, in recognition of the risks they are taking on the frontline. Chosen Care Home Director, Bala Natarajan, added that this decision reflects his view that his care-giving staff “are amongst the unsung heroes of the COVID-19 situation”.
Bala added that the cash flow enabled by the CBILS loan is having a wider benefit, stating “the loan minimises the pressure on local authorities and NHS to process our invoices quickly, as they are facing their own administrative pressures.”
Our frontline staff are amongst the unsung heroes of the COVID-19 situation.
The £2 million loan from Barclays will help make sure that the 1,300 animals across both our sites still get fed and watered.
Barclays helps conservationists to continue protecting wildlife with CBILS loan
Founded over 30 years ago, The Aspinall Foundation works to promote wildlife conservation through funding and managing animal protection projects across the world. It works closely with Port Lymnpe Reserve and Howlett’s Wild Animal Park in Kent, both of which were preparing to enter their peak season before coronavirus hit.
"When visitors could no longer come and see the animals" , Tony Kelly Managing Director said, “we approached our Barclays Relationship Director for help, who was communicative and kept us well informed, most importantly delivering what we needed in the timescale promised,” adding that the loan from Barclays “will help make sure that the 1,300 animals across both our sites still get fed and watered.”
Mike Saul, Head of Hospitality and Leisure for Barclays Corporate Banking said “We are working closely with clients to provide the vital funding they need. We look forward to the park re-opening its doors and helping Tony and the foundation continue on their upward trajectory from the start of the year.”
Barclays provides Scottish dental practice with package of support including BBLS loan amid expansion
As lockdown hit, the award-winning Inverurie Dental Practice was in the process of adding another 3 surgeries to its business. However, customers haven’t been able to come in for routine dental work during lockdown, hugely impacting the company’s income. Whilst staff have been able to provide clients with advice over the phone, the company started talking to Barclays about how we could help.
“As soon as we were impacted, Barclays extended our overdraft to give us peace of mind.” explained co-owner Will Doherty. Throughout the BBLS process, “it was great to have a direct line to someone at Barclays who could answer our questions and get our application submitted.”
Hunter Inkster, Barclays Relationship Director said, “I’m really pleased that Barclays have been able to assist Inverurie Dental Practice with our Covid-19 support tools, including a BBLS loan and increased working capital facilities. With the actions Will and Judith have taken, and the support Barclays have provided, they have protected their company and colleagues during this tough time for Scotland.”
As soon as we were impacted, Barclays extended our overdraft to give us peace of mind.
The Government’s and Barclays’ rapid response will hopefully secure our position and that of our knowledgeable staff for many more years.
Barclays CBILS loan helps camera retailers to focus on the future
One of the North West’s largest camera retailers, Wilkinson Cameras Limited, secured a £200,000 CBILS loan from Barclays after the company was forced to shutter all of its stores. The loan will help meet the overheads of the company’s ten stores, and is enabling the firm to continue trading online.
David Parkinson, Managing Director of Wilkinson Cameras Ltd, said that despite his team doing their best to drive online sales and provide customer service, sales were still down 50% in the month after the stores had to close, “The lockdown was clearly going to have a huge impact on our business, so we asked Barclays for support”.
Barclays Relationship Manager, Leigh Tregonning, was eager to help. “For any business, there is a lot of moving parts,” said Leigh, “so we helped them see the wood from the trees and took the necessary steps so the company could make the right decisions in a difficult situation.”
Bounce Back Loan helps award-winning independent jeweller to plan for the future
Independent jeweller, Anais Rose, has secured a Bounce Back Loan after the company had to temporarily close its two showrooms. The loan ensures the business’ future beyond the pandemic.
Samantha Ballard founded the award-winning jeweller seven years ago, and collaborates with her customers to create personal, custom-made pieces. “We make bespoke jewellery items for our clients – many of whom were due to get married this year – so unfortunately all of that business had to be postponed.” The BBLs process was easy she explains, “When I decided to opt for the Bounce Back Loan, Jayne, my Barclays Development Manager, was a massive help. Once Barclays had all the information, it only took 15 minutes to apply.”
Jayne Cooke, Barclays Development Manager, has worked with Anais Rose for many years and acted immediately support Samantha, “the Bounce Back loan has enabled her to keep her place of business, as well as put the business in a stronger position to reopen again in the future.”
The Bounce Back loan has enabled Samantha to put her business in a stronger position to reopen in the future.
We have had several new client wins which would not have been possible without the CBIL and Barclays’ help.
Printing company sees new business boost after CBILS loan
Rochester-based digital printing business Wallace Print Limited has used its £250,000 CBILS loan to support its suppliers and staff through the COVID-19 crisis, and to keep their growth plans on track.
Established in 1984 – and banking with Barclays since – the firm is a fully digital printing company which was enjoying its strongest quarter on record before the pandemic arrived in the UK. After losing 70% of their revenue, the firm’s Managing Director, Gary Wallace, contacted his Barclays Relationship Director, Toni Burton, who put together a funding package to support the business.
“The CBIL gave us our confidence back,” said Gary, “and Toni has been instrumental in helping us secure it in good time. The funds that we received were absolutely crucial for us and have had several new client wins, which would not have been possible without the CBIL and Barclays’ help.”
CBILS loan helps popular North Yorkshire theme park and zoo
Flamingo Land, an award-winning zoo, theme park and holiday park in North Yorkshire usually receives over 1.5 million guests every year. However, COVID-19 forced its gates to close, immediately reducing the revenue needed to feed its 1,200 animals and support the staff who work on site during the peak summer months.
To help with the business’ cashflow issue, Barclays Relationship Director Oliver Whitehurst fast-tracked Flamingo Land’s CBILS application and enabled the business to quickly access the funds needed to invest in vital safety infrastructure to keep both keepers and animals safe from the spread of COVID-19.
“The support we’ve received from Oliver and the team at Barclays to access a CBILS loan in a matter of weeks,” said Flamingo Land’s CEO Gordon Gibb, “has been a lifeline to ensure we have sufficient working capital throughout this uncertain period.”
The support we’ve received from the team at Barclays has been a lifeline.
The loan massively increases our coffee shop’s chances of survival.
Barclays brews up support for independent coffee shop to help them prepare for the future
Cigno is a family-run, independent coffee shop based in Burntwood near Birmingham, owned by husband and wife team Gemma and Matthew Williams. After meeting in the hospitality sector themselves, the couple fulfilled their lifelong ambition last year and opened their own coffee shop. “Despite it being a brilliant first year of trading, coronavirus has meant that we’ve had to close our doors, which has brought our income to zero”, said Gemma, reflecting on how the lockdown has impacted the coffee shops’ cash flow, “my husband and I have invested everything into the business.”
The couple successfully applied for a Bounce Back Loan through Barclays and the funding will help to keep the business moving forwards. “The bottom line is that the loan massively increases our coffee shop’s chances of survival,” said Matthew, “we’re now looking to the future and planning for our re-opening.”
Llandudno hotel uses Barclays CBIL to gear up for staycation summer
Welcoming guests since the 1940s, the Merrion Hotel is a popular fourth generation family business on the Llandudno seafront that has been temporarily closed due to COVID-19.
“All our income disappeared overnight,” said Paul Bream, the hotel’s Company Director, who reached out to Barclays to find a way to meet overhead costs and support his suppliers, “I think it’s important during this difficult time to make sure our whole supply chain stay on their feet.”
To help with cashflow, Barclays Relationship Director Gary Fletcher guided Paul through the process of drawing down a £240,000 CBILS loan. “Our understanding of the business and our relationship with its owners made a huge difference,” said Gary, acknowledging that his strong understanding of Paul’s business helped his team to provide the best possible support to the client at a vital time.
Our Relationship Director at Barclays really buys into what we are trying to achieve.
Barclays and Cherrytree worked closely together to get this done. We asked, and our bank stepped up.
Loan helps premium bakery with steps to sweet success
Burnley-based Cherrytree Bakery has seen tremendous growth since Managing Director Gary Entwistle founded the company 25 years ago. Originally producing regional favourites like Chorley Cake and Parkin, it’s now a market-leading manufacturer of over 40 million premium sweet treats annually for the coffee shop, retail and foodservice markets.
When COVID-19 forced many of its clients to close their high street outlets, Barclays Relationship Director Shakira Musarat quickly supported the company to secure £250,000 CBILS loan funding. “Gary and his team have worked hard to build Cherrytree Bakery into an innovative and well respected business, so when coronavirus impacted them, we moved quickly to help.”
Gary was delighted by the speed and responsiveness of the Barclays team when he needed them most. “Barclays and Cherrytree worked closely together to get this done. We asked, and our bank stepped up.”
Barclays helps gourmet caterer to serve up new ventures
Leicester-based multi-award winning catering and event management company Sanjay Foods is renowned for creating exquisite gourmet dining experiences for its clients.
Founder and CEO Atul Lakhani said: “2020 was set to be a busy year for Sanjay Foods, but the lockdown meant that our revenue was completely decimated. Our previous bank wasn’t able to offer us the support we needed, so we turned to Barclays. They helped us to secure a CBILS loan five days after our application was submitted, which has given us the financial cushion we needed to survive this difficult period. We are now offering a successful takeaway service which has given us a chance to reconnect with our local community of Leicester.”
Rose Barnard, Barclays Business Manager was keen to serve her clients with the right solution: “I was determined to provide Sanjay Foods with a package of assistance to ensure the business would survive the pandemic and focus on its new takeaway and home catering ventures.”
A chance to reconnect with our local community of Leicester.
The funds gave our business the breathing space it needed to start rethinking our business strategy and adapt to changing customer needs.
CBILS loan helps parts supplier to pivot to new success
Barclays helped Trade Vehicle Parts, a Melton Mowbray-based supplier and distributor of accident repair parts, to secure a £200k CBILS loan after the company faced a sudden loss in sales and demand due to the pandemic lockdown.
“The funds gave our business the breathing space it needed to start rethinking our business strategy and adapt to changing customer needs,” reflects co-founder Vladimir Asenov. “Thanks to the help and support of our dedicated Relationship Manager, I have a positive outlook for the future.”
The company now has a dedicated team researching alternative products to sell which has quickly produced positive results.
Amar Karia, Barclays Business Manager says, “I’m delighted that the business has been able to successfully pivot, which holds it in good stead for the future.”
Barclays is continuing to work with small, medium and large businesses across the country to understand how they have been affected, and provide solutions to the challenges they face. We know coronavirus (COVID-19) is a source of concern for many people right now. We are here to help your business get through this challenging time – in whatever way we can.
1 We’re offering free banking and overdrafts to all our business customers with an annual turnover of up to £250k. After 12 June 2020, your normal charges and fees will apply. We’ll debit these from your account from August 2020.