Builders’ merchant lands £600,000 lifeline

A Malvern builders’ merchant has secured a £600,000 loan from Lloyds Bank to help ease cash flow pressures from Covid-19 disruption.

County Building Supplies, which attributes 80% of its sales to accounts held by contractors, secured the finance as part of the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS).

The company has kept its 14 sites in the Midlands, Wales and South West open for business through the lockdown.

Adapting to the restrictions, the firm introduced physical distancing measures for staff across its sites, and with its deliveries. It has only furloughed colleagues with underlying medical conditions, and is crediting all staff with two extra days holiday in recognition of their work to help customers through the crisis.

Martyn Rees, managing director of County Building Supplies, said: “The construction industry is starting to get back up to speed following weeks of disruption, which will create cash flow pressures through the supply chain in the months to come.

“The finance provided is really relieving, giving us more confidence in the future. Ultimately, it helps protect our fantastic workforce, with employees staying with us for a remarkable 18 years on average. They’ve put a great deal of their own lives into our business, and we’re glad that Lloyds Bank can help us in protecting their livelihoods.”

Mark Smith, relationship manager at Lloyds Bank, said: “Delayed payments are a persistent issue in the construction industry at the best of times, stretching companies’ working capital as they wait to collect money from clients.

“The finance provided to County Building Supplies helps mitigate against the risk of multiple deferred payments creating serious problems for the business. It’s one of many companies we’re working alongside, giving them the financial support they need to weather these challenging times.”

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