Irene got in touch with Funding Options when she needed funding to stay afloat and provide residents with the care they need during Coronavirus.
For Milton Keynes business owner Irene from Rhodsac Care Home, life is based on providing a service to those less fortunate. Irene and her team deliver around-the-clock care for the disabled. Alongside this support, they also focus on developing each individual's talents and sense of self-worth and value, to empower them to become full participants of the wider community.
Rhodsac provides support and encouragement to all service users with the end goal of achieving independent living.
A time of uncertainty and instability
When we were thrust into a world defined by Covid and lockdown, the uncertainty was incredibly unsettling for Irene and her team. She recalls, "just praying each day – where is this headed? Will I be lucky that Covid doesn't come into the home and have enough funds to make it through?" Fortunately, Covid did not get into the home; however, neither did the much-needed funds required to keep the business afloat.
In the past, cash flow had not been a pressing issue – "we'd get payment from the council every four weeks. It's very systematic and reliable: you know that the payment is coming in and you don't need to check with anybody". However, one day the money stopped coming. Irene remembers "waiting for this money and it just didn't come in. And then you're thinking, OK, it always has, it's just gonna go in. But nothing came".
Cash flow challenges
The cash flow disruption put a tremendous amount of pressure on the day-to-day running of the business. Irene made the tough decision to delay staff payments: "Staff were telling me, ‘we still have our bills coming in, we need to pay for this, we need to pay for that’, asking ‘are we going to get paid today?’
It was a challenging and complex situation because I didn't know what to say to staff, they don't necessarily understand that it's the council that's not delivering the payments. They all look up to me, that's my problem."
This was all a learning curve, with no previous experience to look back on to guide her through. So, Irene did what she could. "We started having meetings to give them a heads up to say we're struggling with council payments but to please bear with us, please keep coming into work, and to reassure them that we'll get through this."
While transparency in situations like these is essential, there was still mounting pressure to find much-needed funding. Irene worried about the prospect of not having staff to look after the residences. However, this prospect was not an option. Irene was in a situation where she "needed the money as soon as possible".
Finding a solution through the CBILS
With the help of Senior Finance Specialist Bryony, Irene could access the CBILS through Iwoca and MarketFinance. The money meant she could smooth out her disrupted payments and be assured that staff would be fully paid and ready to give the residents the care and support they need.
Irene was "relieved to have the loan sorted so quickly" and elated to have the experience and support of Bryony on her side during such a stressful time: "Bryony was excellent. She reacted exactly how I wanted and expected a broker to. She was very knowledgeable, efficient, and understanding and was always there to follow up on the application. She was just brilliant".
In a time of such uncertainty, having a finance specialist on your side can provide a great sense of stability. To know your financial matters are being taken care of by a professional means that you can turn your focus back to the business that matters – for Irene, that's being of service to those in her care.
Just as Irene says: "When I needed the money, and I needed it as fast as I did, she just delivered...and took that worry away".