A regional nursery group has secured a six-figure Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) loan from Lloyds Bank to stay open during the pandemic to care for the children of key workers.
Bright Kids, which runs seven nurseries and out of school clubs across Warwickshire and the West Midlands, has continued to provide care for 85 children whose parents are key workers and have been working since the Government’s shutdown began.
But the fall in attendance, which reached 500 children before the pandemic, meant the business had to furlough half of its 85 employees and join up two of its nurseries to continue to provide support.
Bright Kids was founded by Tricia Wellings in 1999, after starting her own family and believing she could provide a better service than the one she experienced.
Launching her first nursery in Studley, the business has since expanded across the region with two nurseries opening last year in Coughton and Evesham, Worcestershire.
To ensure the businesses could remain open, Tricia turned to longstanding banking partner, Lloyds Bank, for support and secured a six-figure CBILS loan.
The money will provide the cashflow to cover employee salaries and ongoing business costs, while ensuring building work can continue at its Crabbs Cross nursery, which will provide the children with more space inside and out.
Tricia said: “It was vital that we stayed open for the families working in the NHS, emergency services and other critical roles. But caring for much fewer children means we have to operate at a loss. The Lloyds Bank team has been fantastic in helping us get the support we need to continue.
“Early years is often the forgotten part of the education sector and nurseries up and down the country are highlighting the important role they play in keeping the country moving in such difficult times.”
James Faithfull, relationship manager at Lloyds Bank, added: “Tricia and her team have built a fantastic business, which is providing critical support to families across the region. Not only will this funding ensure the business can continue to provide care, but it will allow it to retain its experienced team and help secure the long-term future of the nurseries.
“Bright Kids, like many other firms across Warwickshire, faces unprecedented challenges over the weeks and months ahead and we’ll be at the side of our customers to support them.”