MSIF expands portfolio as Wirral gym receives £100k CBILS boost
Wirral-based gym, EmpoweredFIT, has received a £100,000 loan from MSIF’s Coronavirus Recovery and Resilience Fund (CRRF) – delivered by MSIF fund manager subsidiary, Alliance Fund Managers (AFM).
Founded in 2017 by Chris Ellerby-Hemmings and Thea Holden, EmpoweredFIT provides a bespoke gym experience for its members by focusing on creating a community-centric membership business, improving both physical and mental wellbeing.
Attracted by this personal approach, they were approached by two industry-experienced investors who supported the establishment of EmpoweredFIT, and helped provide state-of-the-art equipment to fully fit out the premises.
The mind, body and nutrition specialists were introduced to MSIF by Duncan McCann, of Shareholder Strategies, in early 2020. Original conversations, before the detrimental impacts of COVID-19 on the leisure industry, included the opportunity to expand their space to allow for more members, in addition to refinancing existing funding.
However, while the pandemic impacted on these plans, MSIF maintained its dialogue with the business, such that investment manager Andy Jones was able to provide alternative support to the directors with a £100,000 loan from the CRRF, which is backed by the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS).
This funding has, and continues to, enable EmpoweredFIT to navigate its reopening successfully through the evolving stages of release of lockdown.
Going forward, EmpoweredFIT intends to follow its original plans of expanding its premises to help accommodate new members.
EmpoweredFIT director, Chris Ellerby-Hemmings, said: “We cannot thank MSIF enough for their continued support throughout the pandemic. The involvement and expertise from both Andy and Duncan has helped to ensure that we not only received the most suitable funding, but that we were best prepared for upgrading and re-starting EmpoweredFIT following the lockdown.
“Since reopening, we have hit the ground running and we are busier than ever. We have had over 600 new members subscribe to our service. We can now look to revisit our plans to expand the premises, helping to welcome more members to the EmpoweredFIT family.”
MSIF investment manager, Andy Jones, said: “As a new customer, we are thrilled to welcome the EmpoweredFIT team to the portfolio.
“We continue to look to back and support quality businesses such as EmpoweredFIT that have encountered short-term pain due to the pandemic.
“Chris and Thea have worked incredibly hard to grow a successful business that caters for all areas of wellness. I look forward to working with them in the future as they plan to expand their space and offering.”
Duncan McCann, of Shareholder Strategies, said: “This is a great outcome for all parties involved.
“MSIF have provided support to an excellent business with exciting potential for the future. The rapid growth of new members post-lockdown is testament to Chris and Thea’s work thus far in providing a safe, functional space for members to improve both their physical and mental wellbeing.”