The Holt Limited
Bank of Scotland
Region: South East
Programme: Bounce Back Loan Scheme
Training and corporate events company The Holt Limited saw its customer base disappear overnight when COVID-19 struck. Unable to apply for grants or take advantage of the furlough scheme, the business applied to the Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS) to help it weather the storm ahead.
Read what it had to say in this BBLS case study.
British Business Bank: Can you tell us what your company does?
Tim Peniston-Bird, managing director at The Holt Limited: We support business customers in honing their processes and developing their employees. We use simulations and interactive exercises to help customers experience for themselves the problems within their organisations. We then identify solutions and better practices, and implement them in the workplace. We operate from permanent facilities across the UK and globally with mobile systems.
How did COVID-19 affect your business, and why did this mean you needed funding?
Literally everything stopped overnight. All customers postponed, our business pipeline dried up and we moved from around five enquiries a week to none. Because of our structure, we received no grants and were unable to apply for furlough payments.
What did you think would have happened to your business if your application hadn’t been approved?
We would have had to consider liquidating the company. Without the Bounce Back Loan, I don’t think we’d have been able to keep the business open.
We’ve been able to use the Bounce Back Loan to continue to market to prospective customers, keeping us front of mind. As a result, we’re already on the preferred supplier list of a major defence company, and we’re hopeful of a return to normality once confidence returns to this market.
Tim Peniston-Bird, managing director of The Holt Limited
Can you provide a specific example of how you used the funding to bring about a positive change (or changes) to your business?
As well as using it to market to prospective customers, we also funded some basic costs, like those for our telephone system and e-marketing solution, which we use to keep in touch with prospects and reassure customers that we’re still operating.
Did the Bounce Back Loan allow you to feel more optimistic about the future of your business?
Yes, it provided us with some breathing space to be ready for when the market returns to normal.
How helpful have you found the repayment terms for your Bounce Back Loan?
The lengthy terms make it more feasible for us to be able to repay the loan.
Are you paying back your Bounce Back Loan through one of the Pay As You Grow options? And if so, which option did you choose?
Yes. We chose to extend our loan term from six years to 10 years, at the same fixed interest rate of 2.5%. We also reduced our monthly repayments for six months by paying interest only, and have undertaken a repayment holiday for up to six months as well.
How do the Pay As You Grow options benefit you in terms of repaying your Bounce Back Loan? Will they help your business get back on track?
It’s been a tough period, so the greater the flexibility and the longer the repayment window, the more it helps us to focus on getting back to business.