Thomas Paine Hotel

Success Story 29 August 2023

Funding a fresh start: how Recovery Loan Scheme helped ex-offenders find jobs and support the hospitality industry.

Region/Nation East of England
Sector Hospitality, Accommodation and Food Service Activities
Programme Recovery Loan Scheme

Owner of the Thomas Paine Hotel in Norfolk, Gez Chetal used the Recovery Loan Scheme to not only help his business, but to assist ex-offenders to gain employment in the hospitality industry.

The proceeds of the loan allowed Chetal to add more bedrooms and a function room to the eighteenth-century hotel, giving him the ability to host larger functions such as celebrity events, charity fundraisers, and conferences whilst supporting two new full-time jobs and three part time employees.

The increase in revenue gave Chetal the opportunity to establish Prismstart, a programme that bridges the gap between employer and ex-offender.

“I provide a match making service for ex-offenders and the hospitality industry, I interview candidates in prison myself and match them up to jobs,” says Chetal.

“If they, for example, are going to start a chef job, the candidate can complete the appropriate NVQ whilst they’re in prison, meaning they’re qualified and ready to start work when they leave.”

Prismstart has already found meaningful jobs for over 30 individuals, as well as getting nine others work experience.

The approach has removed barriers to integration and socialisation by giving participants an opportunity to show their value as a productive member of society whilst helping to re-kindle a sense of belonging and purpose through service.

The scheme also benefits a hospitality industry that often experiences staffing shortages, especially those in remote areas.

Since the pandemic, Chetal, Prismstart, and the Thomas Paine Hotel have gone from strength to strength.

“We have also won East of England boutique hotel of the year; we’re supporting the wider hospitality industry, and helping others have a fresh start.

Chetal obtained his recovery loan scheme through Let’s Do Business Finance.

I’m incredibly grateful for the Recovery Loan Scheme to enable me to do all this and a lot more in the future. Gez Chetal Owner, Thomas Paine Hotel