Edward Thomas Interiors
Region: West Midlands
Programme: Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme
With COVID-19 putting housebuilding on hold, Birmingham’s Edward Thomas Interiors couldn’t design and install its showhomes as normal. Forced to furlough 16 of its staff, the company applied for funds via the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) to ensure its survival.
Read what the business had to say in this CBILS case study.
British Business Bank: Can you tell us what your company does?
Andrew Richardson, managing director of Edward Thomas Interiors: We design, supply and install showhomes and marketing suites for the new-build housing market. We operate nationwide.
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?
The outbreak caused housebuilders to close their development sites, which meant our business couldn’t install any of its showhomes and marketing suites. Because of that, we decided to close our office temporarily. We furloughed 16 employees and have a skeleton staff working from home. We’re still designing schemes that we can install in the future.
How long did the application process take? Did you need any support?
The application process took us around three weeks in total. Our business manager at Barclays was very supportive, and our accountants, Mitchells Chartered Accountants & Business Advisers, guided us through the whole process.
Without this support, we wouldn’t have had the cash to ‘start up’ again. The business would have been relying on personal investment and, in all likelihood, would’ve struggled to survive.
Andrew Richardson, managing director of Edward Thomas Interiors
What advice would you give to other businesses that are applying for a CBILS loan?
Prepare a strong business case. Then go back over it, review it and make it as strong as you can.
We were fortunate that we have a good working relationship with our bank, Barclays. And Mitchells, our accountants, made sure we had a full understanding of what we’d need to provide as part of the application.
How has the CBILS loan helped your business to weather the outbreak? And what might have happened if you hadn’t received it?
Having had a couple of months of reduced trading due to COVID-19, I’m pleased to say that things are starting to now return to normal. We’ve just received the CBILS loan and we now have the funds we need to kick-start the business.
Without that financial support, we’d likely have been relying upon personal investment — if we were able to raise it. In all likelihood, Edward Thomas Interiors may have struggled to survive.
Now, I’m very optimistic about the company’s future and am happy that the financial support was there when we needed it.