Region: East of England
Location: Haverhill, Suffolk
Programme: Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme
Suffolk-based precision metal manufacturers Cambridge Rapid had invested much of its working capital in new premises and machinery when COVID-19 forced many businesses to close. A loan via the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) gave the company a crucial lifeline, enabling it to continue training its staff and better prepare for the future.
Read what the business had to say in this CBILS case study.
British Business Bank: Can you tell us what your company does?
Esther Cornell, managing director of Cambridge Rapid: Cambridge Rapid manufactures precision sheetmetal work and specialises in stainless steel. We offer the complete manufacturing service from design and prototype to full production and assembly.
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?
We’d just relocated and invested a considerable amount of money in new premises and machinery, meaning when coronavirus hit we had a lot less cash available. Although we did manufacture medical equipment during the first month of the crisis, our order book was considerably lower in the months that followed.
How long did the application process take? Did you need any support?
The process took 30 minutes and we received an answer within 24 hours. We had the funds in our account within 48 hours.
The CBILS loan has been a lifeline to our business when we needed it the most. It’s given us working capital that we can use to strengthen our business and invest in the future and our staff.
Esther Cornell, managing director of Cambridge Rapid
What advice would you give to other businesses that are applying for a CBILS loan?
From previous experience, applying for funding can be very time-consuming. I’d emphasise to any other businesses that might be considering applying for a CBILS facility that obtaining the loan was really quick and on very good terms. The security and flexibility that it’s given the business allows us to focus on the future and prepare for when the market recovers.
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 was a lifeline to our business when we needed it the most. It’s given us working capital that we can use to strengthen our business and invest in the future and our staff. We’ve been running a training school for our staff during the crisis, which means that when trading returns to normal levels we’ll be stronger and better prepared.
Without the funding, it would’ve have been difficult to trade effectively. We spent considerable time managing our cashflow and money was very tight. The future of the business was definitely under threat!