Dirty Martini (DC Bars)
Programme: Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme
Like all hospitality businesses forced to shut down in the drive to tackle COVID-19, London’s DC Bars needed a boost in cashflow to prepare itself for an eventual reopening. It found this vital support via the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS).
Read what the business had to say in this CBILS case study.
British Business Bank: Can you tell us what your company does?
Scott Matthews, CEO of DC Bars: The company is made up of 11 late-night cocktail bars and one British brasserie restaurant, seven of which are based in London (Covent Garden, Mayfair, Islington and the City) and the rest across regional sites in Cardiff, Manchester, Leeds and Birmingham.
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 were forced to close our bars and restaurants in line with the Government’s guidance around COVID-19. We needed the CBILS funding to assist with our cashflow while the business was closed, but also to help with reopening our premises when the time came.
Without doubt, the CBILS loan has given us the peace of mind knowing that we have a future ahead of us. Being able to access CBILS has ensured that our business is secured for a period of time, to see us through to reopening and, we hope, returning to profit.
Scott Matthews, CEO of DC Bars
How long did the application process take? Did you need any support?
The process took four to five weeks and our account director at Coutts helped us through every step of the process, making himself available as and when we needed advice and when he had updates.
What advice would you give to other businesses that are applying for a CBILS loan?
Make sure you’re 100% clear on your current position. Review and challenge your business model and cut costs where possible, and discuss your position and requirements in detail with your lender. Full transparency is needed as it’s a partnership between your business and the lender. Most importantly, borrow what you know you can pay back and no more.
How has the CBILS loan helped your business to weather the outbreak? And what might have happened if you hadn’t received it?
Without doubt, the CBILS loan has given us and our investor the peace of mind knowing that we have a future ahead of us. Being able to access CBILS has ensured that our business is secured for a period of time, to see us through to reopening and, we hope, returning to profit.