Oliver Bonas secures £3.5m to see it through lockdown

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Oliver Bonas has secured £3.5m of additional funding from HSBC UK as part of the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS). The funding has been accessed to support the high street retailer after all its stores were closed during the coronavirus lockdown in the UK and Ireland.

Together with the Furlough Scheme and other government support, this funding was vital for the business to manage the immediate and serious financial cashflow constraints as all revenue stopped in the stores. The shop is now back on the high street with half of its stores now open.

Oliver Bonas is a mainstay of the British High Street, operating 80 shops across the UK. As lockdown hit the UK, Oliver Bonas closed all its stores from the 21st March. The retailer moved quickly to access funding to ensure that the business was protected through the crisis, whilst also continuing to trade online and make important changes to adapt to post-lockdown trade. The Oliver Bonas warehouse and web dispatch were both made Covid-secure and all teams were able to work safely.

Oliver Tress, founder and CEO of Oliver Bonas, said: “The last few months have been extremely challenging but I’m very proud that we have been able to trade safely online and support our team throughout. It’s exciting to see some of stores open their doors again and we have worked hard to make sure that our team, and our customers, can shop safely post-lockdown. We’re very grateful for the support from HSBC UK in helping us to access vital funding when we needed it most.”

The seven-figure CBILS loan from HSBC UK will provide vital support to Oliver Bonas as it continues to manage cashflow. The funding has also helped the business in shifting operations during lockdown, managing stock costs and boosting online trading. This online presence has provided some much-needed income over the past few months and will continue to be vital for Oliver Bonas as the company adapts to the new normal of the high street.

Paul Williams, HSBC UK corporate relationship director, said: “Oliver Bonas is a great example of a successful independent British business and innovative high street retailer. As the retail industry begins its recovery from the impact of Covid-19 we are very happy to be able to support businesses like Oliver Bonas as they safely reopen shops and protect jobs.”

HSBC UK is working closely with the Government and UK Finance to identify emerging issues and make sure customers and businesses have the advice and support they need. For tips and advice for businesses around planning for any possible disruption, visit www.business.hsbc.com/novel-coronavirus.

The new measures build upon the package of support that HSBC UK has already announced for business customers:

  • Launched BBLS, CBILS, CLBILS and CCFF
  • Allocated £5bn to help businesses that need support
  • Removed the £100 Small Business Loan fee to relieve the pressure faced by SMEs across the country
  • Removed informal overdraft fees – As of 1st April we will no longer apply any Informal Overdraft fees
  • Offering repayment holidays to free up cash within businesses
  • Stopped all unauthorised overdraft charges
  • Reviewing overdrafts or trade loans to allow stock to be held for longer
  • Offering companies involved in the supply and manufacture of ventilators preferential pricing, extended repayment terms on loans and fast track approval times to support the unprecedented demand on UK hospitals.
  • We have also extended that support to customers that can give immediate help to essential public services and vulnerable people. We are contacting clients involved in the manufacture and supply of Personal Protective Equipment to offer preferential finance and, where possible, the direct purchase of supplies and equipment for essential public services.
  • We will also offer similar terms to clients involved in the wholesale of food.
  • Our relationship managers have been proactively contacting customers to see what help their businesses need.
  • We’ve launched a coronavirus helpline to support any customer queries and a dedicated coronavirus hub on our website.
  • For businesses trading internationally:
    • £3bn to importers and exporters that need additional support
    • pre-approved 60-day extensions on trade loans for customers with a sound trade loan/financing record
    • a one-hour turnaround on the issuance of Shipping Guarantees, enabling customers to transfer or receive goods from their counterparty faster
    • a dedicated helpline that connects directly with trade finance specialists (0800 783 1300, open 9am – 5pm Monday to Friday), in addition to the support being offered by relationship managers