£65,000 CBILS package supports beauty business to diversify
The Barn Somerset, a destination beauty salon, has successfully used a £65,000 Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan (CBILS) to diversify its services and move online, generating £55,000 of sales in just four months during the first national lockdown.
Pre-lockdown, The Barn’s services were entirely in person and included holistic, skin treatments, IPL & laser and all standard beauty treatments, as well as a team of specialist practitioners. When the salon had to close during lockdown, owner Kelly Hooper, who opened the salon 12 years ago, worked with Santander UK to secure the CBILS funding.
As well as setting up the online shop and improving its website, the funds have supported the salon’s re-opening with coronavirus health and safety standards for employees and customers put in place. The salon has again temporarily closed in line with the latest government restrictions. It hopes to reopen in December and while closed, its online shop is helping to support the business and mitigate the impact of the second lockdown.
Kelly Hooper, owner of The Barn, said: “Despite the challenges of the pandemic, it’s been an exciting time for The Barn. Working closely with Chris and the team at Santander UK, we secured the funding we needed to launch our online shop, which has been instrumental in mitigating the impact of the salon being closed. It’s fantastic to be able to reach new customers who can enjoy our range of carefully curated, high quality beauty products at home. As a business, we feel well placed to navigate the ongoing uncertainty with Santander’s support. That said, of course we can’t wait to welcome back our clients to enjoy treatments in the beautiful surroundings of The Barn as soon as we’re safely able to.”
Chris Appleton, relationship manager at Santander UK, commented: “Kelly has established a fantastic business at The Barn. When the impact of lockdown became apparent, she moved quickly to diversify and open a new online income stream. We’re proud to work with Kelly and to support the beauty industry, which is a major contributor to the UK GDP.”
Santander UK has published research exploring the impact of the pandemic on businesses. The research revealed that a third of SME leaders feel anxious about the future of their business with only a fifth (19%) expecting to return to normal operating levels by the end of 2020 and almost a third (32%) by July 2021.
The majority (60%) of leaders at SMEs are worried about their ability to attract customers back as the economy re-opens, with nearly a fifth (18%) concerned about the level of investment in marketing needed to restore customer spending to pre-coronavirus levels.
Survive and Revive is Santander’s business support programme which is designed to help to support businesses with the knowledge and capabilities to prosper through the uncertainty caused by the pandemic.
More information on Santander’s ‘Survive and Revive’ programme, including webinars such as one led by Elavon on how to take your business online, and a list of other helpful resources is at www.santanderbreakthrough.co.uk/coronavirus.