Family behind independent bed shop rests easier with bank’s coronavirus support
A family-run bed shop trading in Hampshire for more than 30 years has safeguarded jobs amid the coronavirus crisis with a five-figure emergency loan from longstanding banking partner Lloyds Bank.
Ian Cleary has been running Forty Winks Bed Co. in Farnborough for three decades, having started the business with his father when he was just 17. He now runs the independent shop alongside his wife, Emma, and sisters Anne and Eileen, selling a wide range of beds, mattresses and bedroom furniture from a base in Camp Road.
However, when the coronavirus pandemic hit and a UK lockdown was announced, the family-run retailer was forced to close, leaving the business facing major cashflow issues.
Turning to his banking partner of more than 19 years, Lloyds Bank offered Ian an arrangement fee-free £75,000 loan – turned around in just four days – to cover wages for his team of four and settle outstanding supplier invoices.
He said: “Forty Winks is part of a very close community and to lose that connection would be devastating on both a personal and business level. Not only will this new funding mean that I can continue to pay the team’s wages while we ride out this storm but it’s helped to secure my business’ long-term future, which is hugely reassuring.
“The help that I’ve been given by Lloyds Bank has been absolutely first-class. It’s clear they’re being proactive in their support of businesses like mine at this very difficult time.”
Tim Gall, relationship manager at Lloyds Bank, said: “I know the Forty Winks business well and we were able to turn around the money it needed with speed after Ian’s initial enquiry. We’re working round the clock to help previously successful firms deal with extremely difficult conditions during the pandemic. We will be by their side as they emerge on the other side – ready to resume their growth journey.”