Warwickshire health & beauty insurance broker secures CBILS funding

Association of Beauty Therapists

A specialist membership and insurance company for the health and beauty sectors has been able to secure all the jobs of its 14 staff during the coronavirus shutdown, after securing a Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan (CBIL) from Lloyds Bank.

Alcester-headquartered Associated Beauty Therapists is the UK and Ireland’s largest beauty and insurance membership provider. The firm provides insurance solutions to more than 18,000 individual therapists, hairdressers and salon owners, as well as students working in the beauty, hair and complementary therapy sectors.

The business faced unprecedented challenges from the coronavirus outbreak as beauty specialists, hairdressers and hair salons across the country were told to close their doors to customers. With the immediate closure of its entire customer base, the impact of the lockdown and the uncertainty over the length of closures on the firm’s cash flow has been significant.

A customer of Lloyds Bank for more than a decade, ABT director David Horton asked the bank to help it secure it’s future. This enabled him to pay 11 employee salaries until the government’s furlough support wages came into force and maintain the business.

Lloyds Bank helped David secure a £120,000 funding package using the CBIL scheme, which provides funding for smaller businesses that are experiencing lost or deferred income as a result of coronavirus.

ABT’s specialist insurance solutions are tailored specifically for the beauty, nails, hair and complementary markets. The business also publishes Ireland’s leading beauty trade publication, Irish Beauty, and organises the country’s annual beauty trade event, the Irish Beauty Show.

David Horton, Director at Associated Beauty Therapists said: “Our business has seen a nearly 90 per cent decrease in turnover since last month, as we predominantly service a market that’s been decimated by the lockdown and social distancing rules.

“But the support we’ve had from Lloyds Bank has been outstanding and I couldn’t fault the loan application process. Our relationship manager Mohammed responded to our situation with speed and the finance has been put in place quickly. This has provided us with a real safety net to get us through this unprecedented time and has enabled me to make robust plans to allow us to continue servicing our clients throughout this difficult period and emerge from this stronger.”

Mohammed IIyas, Relationship Manager at Lloyds Bank said: “ABT is a very sound business, but the market it services has been hit hard by the COVID-19 outbreak. With the forced closure of all non-essential businesses like hairdressers, income has dropped significantly, and David needed help to keep operating remotely, with the ultimate goal being to trade back out of the pandemic once lockdown is lifted.

“We’re working flat out to help otherwise successful firms like ABT to navigate the disruption caused by COVID-19.”