Hall-Fast Industrial Supplies
Region: East Midlands
Programme: Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme
With the COVID-19 shutdown causing the customers of this family-run company to fall short with payments or have to cease trading temporarily, the business was forced into rethinking its financial strategy. Deciding to buy new stock that it could sell as essential items throughout the pandemic, the company boosted its working capital with help via the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS).
Read what it had to say in this CBILS case study.
British Business Bank: Can you tell us what your organisation does?
Malcolm Hall MBE, managing director of Hall-Fast Industrial Supplies: Hall-Fast is a small, family-run business based in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire. Among the items we sell are workwear, tools, personal protection equipment (PPE), access and handling equipment, and consumables. We supply these into various industrial sectors, including manufacturing, engineering, marine, healthcare and the public sector, both in the UK and overseas.
How did COVID-19 affect your business, and why did this mean you needed a loan from the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS)?
It affected us in a few ways. For instance, one-third-of our supplier base had to close with the shutdown. And around 60% of our customers weren’t able to pay us due to either being closed or lacking the funds to pay.
We worked with the suppliers that were open and began to promote and sell items which we’d never thought to stock before. We also adapted our strategy, increasing the number of standard stocked items and promoting these items to be purchased online with next-day delivery.
How did you find the application process?
We applied for the loan through NatWest and our relationship manager’s hands-on approach made the process easier.
There were a lot of forms to fill in but that was to be expected. Overall, I found the process pretty straightforward and I’d definitely encourage businesses to apply for a CBILS loan as soon as possible.
First and foremost, the loan has enabled us to continue trading. Having the money also allowed us to buy new stock, which we are now offering as essential items to customers who are in isolation or in lockdown.
Malcolm Hall MBE, managing director of Hall-Fast Industrial Supplies
How has the CBILS loan helped your organisation to weather the outbreak? And what might have happened if you hadn’t received it?
First and foremost, the loan has enabled the business to continue trading. Having the money also allowed us to buy new stock, which we are now offering as essential items to customers on a same‑day collection or next-day delivery basis while these people are in isolation or in lockdown.