Spread Eagle Inn
Region: South West
Location: Warminster, Wiltshire
Programme: Bounce Back Loan Scheme
Having taken on the business in 2018, the owners of this coaching inn, bar and restaurant were finally ready to see a profit for their endeavour. But when COVID-19 caused them to close, all their income disappeared and they were forced to make staff redundant. With an urgent need for finance to keep the business afloat, the owners applied to the Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS) for support.
Read what they had to say in this BBLS case study.
British Business Bank: Can you tell us what your company does?
Sam Osmanchevich, director of the Spread Eagle Inn: We bought the lease to this traditional freehouse pub/coaching inn with bar, restaurant and five letting rooms in 2018. We’d increased sales year on year and were on course to make a profit in our third year. We’re situated on the National Trust Stourhead estate in Wiltshire, predominantly serving visitors to the gardens plus locals.
How did COVID-19 affect your business, and why did this mean you needed funding?
The outbreak required us to close immediately, so straight away we had a 100% drop in sales and income. This happened at the worst time of year for us, as in hospitality the first three months of the year are the quietest. Cashflow was already difficult.
We weren’t eligible for any grants but our landlord was insisting on full rent. Although we had a business interruption policy with our insurer, the company denied our claim. We then had to make staff redundant. Our only hope of surviving was to get some funding to enable us to save the business.
How did you find the application process?
The application process was reasonably straightforward and easy, once we’d collated all the information required.
We feel optimistic. The Bounce Back Loan has allowed us to survive and plan again for the future and ways in which we can diversify the business.
Sam Osmanchevich, director of the Spread Eagle Inn
What do you think would have happened to your business if your application hadn’t been approved?
If the application hadn’t been approved, it would have meant making more full-time staff redundant. Also, it would’ve been touch-and-go whether the business would’ve survived. We would’ve found it very challenging due to the unknowns at the time of whether people would come back in to restaurants.
Can you provide a specific example of how you used the funding to bring about a positive change (or changes) to your business?
We used the money to help with everyday cashflow, paying staff wages, tax bills and suppliers.
What advice would you give to other businesses that are applying for a Bounce Back Loan?
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. The effect on mental health just by having someone to talk to about needing help and analysing your business to seek a way forward is enormous.
In what way did the funding help your business survive?
In every way!
How did your Bounce Back Loan help your business (for example, with paying bills, paying staff, buying stock, paying down debt etc.)?
It helped us to pay suppliers, HMRC and creditors. It also aided with buying stock and general cashflow.
Did the Bounce Back Loan allow you to feel more optimistic about the future of your business?
Yes it did. It allowed us to survive and plan again for the future and ways in which we can diversify the business.
How helpful have you found the repayment terms for your Bounce Back Loan?
Really helpful, due to the fact that there are no fees or interest for the first year. At a time when we were struggling with cashflow, it was so important to have this help.