North of Scotland Marquees
The Royal Bank of Scotland
Programme: Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme
When the government placed restrictions on public gatherings as part of its drive to tackle COVID‑19, marquee hire company North of Scotland Marquees saw its bookings for the next few months suddenly cancelled or postponed. Needing to generate revenue to continue trading, it applied to the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) for a financial lifeline.
Read what the business had to say in this CBILS case study.
British Business Bank: Can you tell us what your company does?
David Douglass, partner of North of Scotland Marquees: Based in the north of Scotland, we operate in the hotel and leisure sector, supplying marquees for a number of different commercial events — weddings mainly, but events such as the Highland Games too.
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?
All our bookings to supply marquees and equipment from April to July were either cancelled or postponed due to the government restrictions on the size of gatherings and the number of people involved. The postponed events will now take place in either the later season (August onwards) or 2021, but we’ve had to deal with a significant loss of revenue in the short term. The events planned for the current financial year (including those that were postponed) are worth over £200,000 to the business.
How long did the application process take? Did you need any support?
We completed the application without any issues and the decision was made very quickly. I can’t fault the timescales involved at all.
Without the support of CBILS, we’d have struggled to trade in the short term. But because we’re able to trade, other businesses can continue to trade too.
David Douglass, partner of North of Scotland Marquees
What advice would you give to other businesses that are applying for a CBILS loan?
The advice I’d give is to always keep in mind that the CBILS loan isn’t free money. Before you commit, make sure you look ahead and consider what your repayments will be and whether you can manage them.
How has the CBILS loan helped your business to weather the outbreak? And what might have happened if you hadn’t received it?
Without the support of CBILS, the business would’ve struggled to trade in the short term. The loan has allowed us to bring in revenue by providing temporary structures for extra canteen spaces needed because of social distancing. And because we can trade, other businesses can continue to trade too.