Region: North East
Location: Wallsend, Tyne and Wear
Programme: Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme
Businesses that rely on face-to-face interaction with customers have truly felt the impact of the COVID-19 lockdown. With its revenue falling to zero overnight, weight loss therapy provider Silverlink Clinics had to stop all of its treatment and furlough its employees to stay afloat. Needing a boost to its cashflow, the business applied for support 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?
Chris Matthews, CEO and founder of Silverlink Clinics: We’re a small business that’s dedicated to fighting obesity in the UK and helping the public achieve its fitness goals.
My motivation for starting Silverlink Clinics was simply to help people not be as miserable as I was when I weighed over 20 stone. The therapy that we offer requires neither pills nor surgery, and has helped thousands of people to safely lose weight.
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?
Though the lockdown has disrupted all types of businesses, it’s those that rely on face-to-face interaction and physical contact that have felt the impact the most. We’ve had to be creative and resilient to endure it.
When the country went into lockdown, we went from taking £12,000 a day, six days a week, to nothing overnight. We had to make the hard decision to stop all patients who were on our programme, which meant we had to safely take them off it in a fairly short period of time.
Having furloughed all of our employees, we turned to the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) for support.
How long did the application process take? Did you need any support?
Our usual bank wasn’t able to offer us a loan so we put in an application with iwoca. We received the money within 72 hours.
The CBILS loan has been instrumental in keeping the business afloat. We’ve been able to get patients back on their nutritional programmes and have actually set up an e-commerce element to the business, something that wouldn’t have happened before.
Chris Matthews, CEO and founder of Silverlink Clinics
How has the CBILS loan helped your organisation to weather the outbreak? And what might have happened if you hadn’t received it?
While the furlough scheme has been helpful in making sure we were able to pay salaries, it wasn’t enough to cover fixed overheads during the lockdown. That meant jobs remained at risk.
The CBILS loan has been instrumental in keeping the business afloat. We’ve been able to get patients back on their nutritional programmes and have actually set up an e-commerce element to the business, something that wouldn’t have happened before. People can now order our nutritional products online and have them delivered from our new warehouse facility. We’ve effectively built that part of the business from scratch.