Supporting clients through covid-19

BRIGHTER is a new tomorrow

The right banking partner doesn’t just help you overcome challenges, they help connect you to possibilities. Read our real stories.

We’ve been supporting businesses for over 300 years and we’ve worked alongside our clients through good times, and challenging times. Their resilience and determination makes us proud to partner with them. Here are just a few of their stories.

Around Noon

Resilient food manufacturer prioritises timely payments to local companies supplying its ingredients with Barclays' support.

Headquartered in Newry, Northern Ireland, with manufacturing sites both there and in Slough, Around Noon was enjoying a great start to 2020.

But as a sandwich, salad and snack maker for the hospitality and travel sectors, as well as high street stores, many of their clients have since closed their doors and reduced orders.

As soon as the business was impacted by coronavirus Chairman Howard Farquhar got in touch with his Relationship Director John Mathers, and they worked together to apply for CBILS support.

Approval of the loan was good news for Around Noon’s supply chain.

Howard added, “We work closely with over 100 companies across the UK and Ireland to provide us with over 1,000 ingredients and this money will ensure we are in a position to make timely payments to these suppliers over the next few months.”

Our Relationship Director has stayed very close to us. This loan will help us stay in the game and come back stronger.

Howard Farquhar

Chairman, Around Noon

In the space of seven days, we went from having our most successful year since opening to maybe losing everything we had built up over 18 years. However, our Relationship Director’s assurance and support made us believe that our business would not fall over

Helen Beere

Owner, The Queensberry Hotel and Olive Tree Restaurant

The Queensberry Hotel and Olive Tree Restaurant

Challenging times have not stopped this Bath hotel and restaurant from keeping employees in work with Barclays’ support.

Like many in the hospitality sector, this family run 4 AA-star hotel and restaurant had to shut its doors due to the impact of Covid-19, and is preparing for up to six months’ closure.

With the support of Barclays’ Relationship Director Martin Crook, the business was able to quickly apply for a loan through CBILS.

Helen added, “Being able to access CBILS means we still have a business. It means that we can pay our staff at the end of the month, and make sure we can pay all we owe to our small, local suppliers as well. Looking ahead, CBILS means that our business has a future and the loan means we can get through this period and plan with confidence for the future.”

The Entertainer

Determined highstreet retailer is first to receive Barclays CLBILS finance.

Founded in 1981, family business The Entertainer is the largest independent high street and online toy retailer in the UK. With over 170 UK toy stores and a further 76 internationally, The Entertainer employs over 1,800 people worldwide.

Overnight, Covid-19 changed everything.

With a banking relationship spanning over 40 years, Executive Chairman Gary Grant saw Barclays as a true partner and without hesitation made contact with his Relationship Director Franc Carr.

The loan will support the business’s cash flow, and enable Gary and his team to plan for the future with confidence. Gary added, “Barclays has supported my business through other challenging times, and this felt no different. The loan means we can plan, knowing we have the resources to finance the business”.

In those first hours of the lockdown, I thought 40 years of building a family business would be completely wiped out. But to be one of the first CLBILS loans to be approved in less than 24 hours of the loan conditions being made available was a truly remarkable lifeline.

Gary Grant

Executive Chairman, The Entertainer

  • Playdale Playgrounds

    I appreciate having a personal relationship with my bank and someone I can pick up the phone to. My bank manager has been very accessible, including evenings and weekends. It is what customer service should feel like.

    Barry Leahey, Owner.

    Playdale Playgrounds is a British success story that has a history of designing, manufacturing and installing playground equipment for over 40 years across the UK, and was exporting to over fifty countries. 

    But as coronavirus spread around the world, its order book dried up and soon the business was surviving hour by hour. It was crucial that owner Barry Leahey was able to get support quickly.

  • Titanic Brewery

    I called Barclays and couldn’t have had a better experience. We’d only just switched to Barclays when this crisis hit, and our Relationship Director Adam’s help has given us the confidence that we’ll still be here on the other side.

    Keith Bott, Director.

    Titanic Brewery was founded in 1985, employs over 200 staff and produces over 3 million pints a year.

    The brewery had to close its 13 pubs and café bars across Staffordshire when coronavirus hit. Barclays helped them secure £1M via the CBILS loan scheme, and a Capital Repayments Holiday on another loan.

  • FCL Health

    With so much stock still sitting on the shelves, Barclays has been attentive and efficient in helping us. As an entrepreneur whose businesses provide the UK with a variety of goods from overseas, we have seen an 80% drop in demand for all product lines across the country in line with the forced closure of non-essential businesses.

    Due to CBILS, we are in a healthy position to meet current market conditions. The loan has also enabled us to continue importing essential goods into the UK, and as a result, we’ve been able to donate a shipment of protective masks to the NHS. It’s important that everyone pulls together now.

    Kulbir Sohi, Managing Director.

    Barclays helps thousands of UK businesses to import goods from around the world. However the national lockdown has had a significant impact on entrepreneurial importers such as Kulbir Sohi, who runs importing firms, FCL Heath and FCL Group, from West Bromwich in the West Midlands.

    Barclays has supported Kulbir for over ten years and has been able to help him secure loans through CBILS worth £1.3m.

    As a result, FCL Health has been able to increase the amount of essential medical goods it can import into the UK, and Kulbir is directing these to where they’re needed most.

  • AC Tours

    I cannot thank our Relationship Director and the team at Barclays enough for the support they have provided in the process of our CBIL application. They have been on hand at every moment and advised, adapted and supported us in the whole process and made what could have been a very difficult and challenging application seamless.

    Rob Russell & Malcolm Lindop, Joint CEOs.

    AC Tours has been organising tours, planning itineraries and arranging bespoke travel for groups and individuals around England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland since 1999.

    Barclays supported AC Tours to apply for funding through CIBILs to help them though the Covid-19 outbreak, which has shut down the travel industry on a global scale.

  • The Aspinall Foundation

    Protecting endangered animals is at the core of The Aspinall Foundation, and we were determined not to let the COVID-19 pandemic get in the way of our mission. When cash flow ground to a halt in the most profitable season for our animal parks, we approached our relationship director for help, who was communicative and kept us well informed, most importantly delivering what we needed in the timescale promised.

    The £2 million CBILS loan provided by Barclays will help make sure that the 1,300 animals across both our sites still get fed and watered, and ensures that we can carry on paying our hard working animal keepers. Our main priority right now is making sure our precious animals get the care they need, and that the foundation can carry on repatriating them to the wild when this is all over.

    Tony Kelly, Managing Director.

    The Aspinall Foundation fund and manage animal protection projects in Congo, Gabon, Java and Madagascar, as well as providing financial support to other animal protection schemes around the world including India and Cambodia.

    The mission of The Aspinall Foundation is to halt the extinction of rare and endangered species and return them to the wild where possible.

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