ART Health Solutions
Region: North East
Programme: Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme
A business with a client portfolio of mainly office-based organisations, ART Health Solutions was severely affected when those corporate premises closed suddenly as a result of COVID-19. Needing to adapt quickly to this changing situation, the company applied for funding via the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) so it could better tailor its product to the new ways of working.
Read what it had to say in this CBILS case study.
British Business Bank: Can you tell us what your company does?
Phillip Bell, chief operations officer of ART Health Solutions: We collect scientific data to highlight the impact of the workspace on employee health, performance and experience. With a combination of wearable technology, mobile applications and online surveys, we provide organisations with objective evidence that enables them to support their employees wherever they work, whether in corporate offices, flexible working spaces or at home.
The coronavirus has affected a huge number of businesses across the UK. What problems were you facing as a result of the outbreak and what made you apply for CBILS support?
Before COVID-19, we had a number of approved budgets to draw down from across our client portfolio. Unfortunately, the work we were due to carry out for those clients was no longer possible once corporate offices were made to shut down, and as a result we were unable to draw down on those budgets. We applied to CBILS to support this interruption to our cashflow.
Without CBILS, we’d have been under immediate pressure to generate income in an environment that wasn’t suitable to our existing product and service. The loan has offset those concerns and we’re now able to play our part in helping the economy to recover.
Phillip Bell, chief operating officer of ART Health Solutions
How long did the application process take? Did you need any support?
We worked alongside our accountants (MHA Tait-Walker) in developing our application. From our first engagement with them to the time we submitted the application, it was around two weeks. Then it was a further 10 days before NatWest approved the CBILS loan.
What advice would you give to other businesses that are applying for a CBILS loan?
Make sure you have your financial forecasting as accurate as possible and that your request for funding is based on solid assumptions. There’s little point in applying for too low an amount, while asking for too much brings into question your ability to meet the repayments. We really benefited from working closely with our accountants to understand our cashflow and when exactly we’d need the funding.
How has the CBILS loan helped your business to weather the outbreak? And what might have happened if you hadn’t received it?
The CBILS loan has offset any cashflow concerns that we had as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our business is now in a position to continue its growth and play its part in helping the economy to recover.
Without CBILS, we’d have been under immediate pressure to generate income in an environment that wasn’t suitable—or was at least significantly less suitable—to our existing product and service. We wouldn’t have been able to focus on developing and delivering our new fully remote services and it’s likely we’d have been pushed into making some tough decisions.