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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.

Playground

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.”

Around Noon

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.

Taxi rank

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.”

Car garage

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.”

The Queensberry Hotel, Bath

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.

Shipping containers

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.”

Whees, East Anglia

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.

Children in a nursery

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.”

Rugby player holding ball

Barclays stepped in to the breach and we’re hugely grateful that they have been able to provide a CBIL facility.

P&S employee working in hospital

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.”

Care home

Our frontline staff are amongst the unsung heroes of the COVID-19 situation

Giraffes roaming

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.”

Dentist

As soon as we were impacted, Barclays extended our overdraft to give us peace of mind.

Photography equipment

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.”

Jewellery in flowers

The Bounce Back loan has enabled Samantha to put her business in a stronger position to reopen in 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.

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.