Supporting UK businesses through Coronavirus

Supporting UK businesses through Coronavirus

During the coronavirus pandemic we have been supporting customers with additional finance facilities to keep businesses going through this time of great economic uncertainty.

Through initiatives such as the government's Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan (CBIL) and the Bounce Bank Loan Scheme (BBLS) businesses, large and small, have been able to retain staff, adapt their model to fit the needs of a locked-down world, and ensure they’re in a position to reopen once the crisis is over. In many cases, businesses have reconfigured their outputs to help in the fight against the virus, and to support front-line workers and the NHS.   

We’ve outlined a small selection of businesses below, but you can see how we’re supporting more across the UK here.

Remote support for NHS staff and patients

An audio visual and IT equipment supplier has been able to help NHS staff work remotely during the coronavirus pandemic with support from Lloyds Bank.

Bolton-based IDNS is a leading provider of large-format displays and supplies a range of audio visual and IT hardware and software. Its 5,000-strong customer base includes schools, universities and the NHS. However, when the coronavirus pandemic hit and a UK lockdown was announced, many of IDNS’ customers were forced to close, leaving the business facing cashflow issues.

Turning to longstanding banking partner, Lloyds Bank, Managing Directors David Shuttleworth and Darren Clayman were able to secure a seven-figure loan through the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILs), allowing the duo to safeguard jobs for their team of 70 staff while covering other business overheads.

The loan has also given IDNS the working capital boost needed to meet essential orders for teams on the frontline of the NHS. The firm has already supplied hundreds of laptops, headsets, desktop speakers, interactive touchscreens and webcams to NHS trusts across the country.

The equipment has allowed NHS teams to communicate remotely while planning and coordinating their ongoing response to the pandemic. Tech has also been provided to patients receiving non-critical care, allowing them to access face-to-face consultations with clinicians without leaving home.

David Shuttleworth, Managing Director at IDNS, said: “Technology is playing a critical role in helping trusts and hospitals fight coronavirus – allowing them to communicate, collaborate and even interact with patients.

“Not only has this new funding meant we can fulfil essential orders for the NHS but it’s also ensured our team of highly skilled staff can continue to meet their commitments and support their families. It’s all been possible thanks to the support from Alistair and the team at Lloyds Bank, alongside Mark Steel at Camalex Corporate Finance.”

These are unprecedented times for businesses and huge numbers are facing disruption. We’re working round the clock to help firms like IDNS deal with extremely difficult conditions during the pandemic. We will be by their side as they emerge on the other side – ready to resume their growth journey.

Alistair Pike, Relationship Director, Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking

Dundee restaurant dishes up for medical staff

A Dundee restaurant is set to donate more than 1,000 meals to key front-line medical workers and its local foodbank with the help of Bank of Scotland.

Meze Grill, based in Broughty Ferry, dished up lunches to staff at the Scottish Ambulance Centre this as a way of saying thank you for their hard work and commitment. Additionally, Ibrar and his team aim to donate 1,000 meals to their local foodbank on Albert Street, Dundee.

Steve Ayre, Relationship Manager at Bank of Scotland, will join Ibrar on Thursday at the Scottish Ambulance Centre to help plate up a variety of light bites, including hummus and pulled chicken rice. Bank of Scotland is supporting Meze Grill through the coronavirus outbreak, with a six-month capital repayment holiday on its existing loans.

Ibrar Ibrahim, Restauranteur and Owner of Meze Grill, said: “Like many other businesses in the area, we’ve felt the economic impact of the virus. Our Goa restaurant, which is upstairs from Meze Grill, closed three weeks ago and my six members of staff are working reduced hours. We are only doing home deliveries now.

“It’s a very grim situation, and it’s at times like these that you need to dig deep to support the local community.

“It’s bit of a relief to have such a good relationship with Bank of Scotland at a time like this. I’ve been a customer for more than seven years and the guidance and support the bank has provided has been crucial to the financial health of my four restaurants.”

During what is an uncertain time, it’s inspiring to see the goodwill of businesses such as Meze Grill who are devoting their time to support the wider community. At Bank of Scotland, we’re working closely with a variety of firms from different sectors to help guide them through this extremely difficult period. We’re also supporting customers with arrangement fee free finance and overdrafts, as well as capital repayment holidays for those that have been severely affected by COVID-19.

Steve Ayre, Relationship Manager, Bank of Scotland

Support for organic farm and wedding venue

A Somerset farm business, wedding venue and B&B has secured an emergency funding package from Lloyds Bank after it was forced to cancel or postpone hundreds of bookings.

Huntstile Organic Farm, based in Goathurst near Bridgwater, which normally hosts about 60 weddings a year in its idyllic grounds, has lost scores of bookings from its crucial summer trading period.

Owners Lizzie and John Ridout have also had to refund over 200 bookings at their popular B&B. Their accommodation is currently home to a French family and a Californian couple who were staying at the farm when coronavirus travel restrictions began to be imposed. Lizzie and John are allowing the holidaymakers to remain in the accommodation for free until they can travel home. The Ridouts have also had to furlough eleven of the farm’s 12 employees, who normally help to run the wedding venue, B&B and café.

As the impact of the coronavirus restrictions became clear, Lizzie approached Lloyds Bank for support to help it trade through the pandemic. Huntstile – a Lloyds customer since it was founded almost 15 years ago – has secured an additional £190,000 overdraft along with a six-month capital repayment holiday.

Lizzie said: “Coronavirus couldn’t have come at a worse time for us as we approach what is traditionally our busiest time of year. In a normal spring or summer week we’d be hosting a couple of weddings and dozens of B&B guests but the farm is now almost totally shut down and we’re heartbroken to have to furlough our lovely staff.

“We have been with Lloyds from the start and they have offered us amazing support to help us through this period. We have great comfort knowing they are right behind us.”

Huntstile is one of Somerset’s most popular wedding venues, as well as a thriving B&B and farm business. It is usually a hive of activity at this time of year, so it’s distressing to see it temporarily shut down by coronavirus. But we know Lizzie and John well and are very happy to help support them through this period. They have shown vision and drive to build a fantastic business over the past 15 years and I’m confident they’ll be ready to prosper again when this crisis is finally over

Vicki Crisp, SME Relationship Manager, Lloyds Bank