Extra bank holiday could provide welcome boost for region’s businesses

Firms across the East Midlands “will be eager for a busy May in the hope that the Bank holidays and the King’s coronation will give them a boost”, according to one prominent regional finance expert.

David Atkinson, regional director at Lloyds Bank, believes a wide variety of businesses – and not just those in the retail and hospitality industries – could benefit from an uptick in custom during the upcoming festivities, making preparation for the big weekend all the more important.

“Naturally pubs, restaurants and shops will welcome the benefits of a busier trading period, but they need to act now to make the most of it”, says Atkinson.

“They can start with working capital, checking it is robust enough to manage the upcoming peaks in demand. For some there might be benefit in accessing short-term finance needs to ensure cash flow is flexible ahead of time.”

One such local business that is gearing up for a busy May is Allens Caravans, which runs luxury holiday parks in Northampton, Wales and the Cotswolds.

John Russ, sales director at Allens Caravans, said: “We’ve seen a real boom in demand for our luxury accommodation in recent years and are looking forward to a busy May, with the flurry of bank holidays helping to drive business.”

“Lloyds Bank recently supported us with a £12.5m funding package to invest in one of our flagship sites, Aber Bay”, adds Russ.

“This enabled us to add an additional 57 plots, taking its total caravans to 217, and redevelop the site to build a new beachside clubhouse, indoor swimming pool, bar, restaurant and rooftop terrace. This investment will be key to helping us handle the increased demand expected in May.”

According to Atkinson, businesses “will also need to be resourced well enough with staff to cover the potential increased demand from customers, while bearing in mind the importance of building in flexibility for their teams to spend time with friends and family.”

If companies take the time to fine tune their forecasting, he says, control cash and costs and check in with their supply chain, they will put themselves in a better position to minimise disruption – and potentially be able to join the ranks of those raising a glass in celebration.

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