Jobs safeguarded at fire protection firm

Fire Protection Coatings, a Coventry business that manufactures and distributes fire protective products, has been able to continue operating and safeguard jobs during the pandemic after securing funding.

The business was founded in 2002 and employs 20 staff. It moulds specialist coatings for the hydrocarbon industry and the sale of coatings and fire barriers to the construction industry.

Following a successful year, the pandemic has hit the company hard, with sales down by 70%.

Fire Protection Coatings applied for funding through the discretionary grant scheme which Coventry City Council is administering and received £10,000 which will help the business retain staff returning to work after being furloughed.

Yvonne Atkins, HR manager, Fire Protection Coatings, said: “The funding is a valuable lifeline to our business and employees. We got the grant decision within a week, it was really quick.

“Although we will see some recovery by October, it is likely to take 12 months for our supply-chain to get back to normal. The funding will enable us to put additional resources into our distribution as we can see the construction industry recovering more quickly with Government funding. We are planning to diversify and are already introducing a new range of fire extinguishers and protective timber coating to our range.”

Cllr Jim O’Boyle, cabinet member for jobs and regeneration at Coventry City Council, added: “This is a great example of the necessity for the support to local companies. We know that there are still businesses that clearly need help, and we want to make sure as many Coventry businesses as possible benefit.”

This is the second time that Fire Protection Coatings has received grant funding through Coventry City Council. The business also applied for European Regional Development Funding (ERDF) through the Innovation and Green Business Programmes that are being delivered by the council.

The company received £9,000 through the Innovation programme to develop a new fire protection coating system and have just had an energy efficiency audit completed through the green business programme, identifying where energy and resource efficiencies can be made to reduce their energy bills.

More than £50m has been paid out in COVID related business grants to support 4,000 Coventry companies that have been impacted by the Covid-19 outbreak.

The grant funding comes from three Government schemes: Small Business Grant Fund, Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund, and Discretionary Grant scheme, which are designed to help small and medium sized businesses that have been affected by COVID-19.

However, the scheme will end at midnight on 12 August.

As a result, Coventry City Council is encouraging businesses, that are eligible for the grants – and who have yet to apply for the schemes – to get in contact.

Cllr O’Boyle said: “It’s absolutely vital that we do all we can to attempt to protect jobs and businesses. We want to enable businesses to get back on their feet and I’d encourage any small business to get in touch before the deadline of 12 August.

“We want to make sure that all eligible businesses have every opportunity to contact us. We must get this absolutely right.”