Little Adventurers Nursery
Programme: Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme
With COVID-19 forcing schools and nurseries to close, the few key-worker children left in the care of Little Adventurers Nursery weren’t enough to sustain the business financially. Facing cashflow difficulties that threatened its future, the nursery looked to the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) for vital support.
Read what it had to say in this CBILS case study.
British Business Bank: Can you tell us what your organisation does?
Lee Stimpson, director of Little Adventurers Nursery: We provide full day care to children aged three months to five years, within the London Borough of Havering.
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?
Although in normal times we have 120 children under our care, the enforced and sudden closure due to COVID-19 meant we were providing care to only 11 key-worker children, which presented us with significant operational and financial challenges. It was a very difficult time for everyone concerned with the business, but receiving the CBILS loan effectively gave us time to work through those many challenges while also supporting our staff.
As with any business, cashflow is critical and having the loan in place meant we could focus on implementing our strategy, which was to cover costs, support parents, retain staff and be ready to reopen after the lockdown.
How long did the application process take? Did you need any support?
We were the very first CBILS loan for OakNorth Bank. Communication was key and was exceptional throughout, and it was reassuring that the bank was working as hard as we were to progress the application. It was during that time that we fully appreciated the benefit of having the facility with an entrepreneur-supporting bank.
During this period, cash has been king, and the CBILS loan has enabled us to focus our efforts on controlling costs while continuing to provide the excellent service on which we’ve built our reputation.
Lee Stimpson, director of Little Adventurers Nursery
What advice would you give to other businesses that are applying for a CBILS loan?
This period has been unprecedented and we accepted that we could only really plan for a three-month closure with a cash sensitivity of a six-month closure. As COVID-19 is here to stay for what looks to be at least 12 months, with reports of a possible second wave, I’d say look at your business model going forward and plan financially for a worst-case scenario over the next 12 months.
How has the CBILS loan helped your organisation to weather the outbreak? And what might have happened if you hadn’t received it?
We had a strong-performing business beforehand, and believe that it will continue to be a strong business going forward. During this period, cash has been king, and so the CBILS loan has enabled us to focus our efforts on controlling costs and making the most of opportunities while continuing to provide the excellent service on which we’ve built our reputation.
There’s no real way of knowing for sure, but without the cashflow that the loan has provided, the business would very likely have been at risk.