Stafford-based Easy Living Mobility 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.
The company – 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 – 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, it 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.
It turned to Lloyds Bank to navigate the government support available and arranged a £307,000 funding package using the CBILS.
This has enabled it 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 reopened its stores in-line with the government’s gradual relaxation of lockdown measures, but the business’ recovery from the crisis is likely to be gradual given the expectation that elderly customers may be more reluctant to go back into retail environments.
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.
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.”
The CBILS funding is also supporting Easy Living Mobility’s sister company Motus Medical, a leading supplier of specialist lightweight wheelchairs and powered wheelchairs.