Bank support safeguards jobs at Stafford-based mobility equipment supplier
A leading provider of specialist mobility equipment for elderly and physically disabled people, has been able to secure all the jobs of its 36 staff during the coronavirus shutdown, after securing a Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) from Lloyds Bank.
Stafford-based Easy Living Mobility is one of the UK’s largest retailers of innovative mobility products including daily living aids, mobility scooters, manual and electric wheelchairs, rise recliners and stairlifts. It has a regional network of 12 stores across the Midlands and Staffordshire and serves more than 35,000 customers each year.
Like many ‘non-essential’ retail businesses, Easy Living Mobility faced unprecedented circumstances from the coronavirus outbreak as it was forced to close its doors to customers. The impact of lockdown on the firm’s cash flow has been significant, and it has had to furlough around two-thirds of its staff.
Lloyds Bank helped the firm to navigate the government support available and arranged a £307,000 funding package using the CBILS. This has enabled the firm to maintain some of its administration operations during the pandemic to respond to customer queries, giving it sufficient funds to pay its suppliers, whilst also being able to meet its own operational overheads and staff costs.
The business has recently re-opened its stores in-line with the government’s gradual relaxation of lockdown measures, but as many of Easy Living Mobility’s customers are aged over 70 years and therefore classified as vulnerable, the business’ recovery from the crisis is likely to be gradual. As such, the loan from Lloyds Bank will also allow Easy Living Mobility to more effectively trade back out of the pandemic over the longer-term.
Established in 2001, Easy Living Mobility also specialises in disabled bathroom conversions and installations and provides a mobility scooter repair service to its customers. The business’ stores are located in Newcastle-under-Lyme, Leek, Cannock, Lichfield, Dudley, Kidderminster, Hanley, Walsall, Northfield, Wylde Green, Telford and Wolverhampton.
The CBILS funding arranged by Lloyds Bank is also supporting Easy Living Mobility’s sister company Motus Medical, a leading supplier of specialist lightweight wheelchairs and powered wheelchairs.
Daniel Griffiths, director at Easy Living Mobility said: “Our specialist mobility equipment improves the quality of our customers’ lives. Unfortunately, they haven’t been able to access our stores or any of our installation or maintenance services during lockdown, and this has had a big impact on our customer’s lives as well as our business.
“We’ve seen a substantial decrease in turnover since the crisis unfolded, so the support we’ve had from Lloyds Bank has been invaluable. The team was really helpful and quickly provided a funding solution to give us the cashflow needed to meet our overheads and other costs during lockdown. This has been a real lifeline for our business.”
Adam Hartshorne, relationship manager at Lloyds Bank said: “The service and support that Easy Living Mobility provides to its customers is second to none. It helps people who rely on disability and mobility aids to live more independently, which is critical to their wellbeing. But as the business predominantly services a market that’s been impacted by the lockdown and social distancing rules, it needed extra support during these challenging times.
“We’re working flat out to help firms like Easy Living Mobility to navigate the disruption caused by Covid-19. This includes lending through the Bounce Back Loan Scheme and Coronavirus Business Interruption Scheme, as well as capital repayment holidays on loans for businesses that have been affected.”