Coronavirus loan scheme boost for Starbucks franchisee

A Kent-based coffee shop franchisee has secured a boost through the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS).

Kent-based GK Coffee Group, trading as Starbucks, has eight franchises across Essex, Kent and Lewisham, and secured the loan through Allied Irish Bank.

In a step to attempt to limit the spread of coronavirus all GK Coffee Group’s Starbucks venues were closed on the 23 March, putting an immediate hold on income.

Bhopinder Singh Gill, owner of the GK Coffee Group trading as Starbucks explained: “The last few months have affected all business owners and has been extremely worrying.

“We were delighted to reopen recently but we didn’t know what level of trade we would have so I applied for the CBILS to provide a safety net for my business.

“We had been closed for three months and had no idea what demand there would be. We are fortunate to have experienced a good level of trade since we reopened all our sites.

“Irv Lyon at Allied Irish Bank helped us with the CBILS application process and thanks to him we have the funding place should we need it.

“There is still a lot of uncertainty around the economy and having the CBILS gives us reassurance in case there is a second spike or lockdown restrictions are enforced again. We have the finance in place to ensure our business is ready and able to survive.”

Irv Lyon, senior franchise manager in the Franchise team at Allied Irish Bank added: “The last few months have been extremely hard for everyone and has impacted businesses across every sector.

“The retail and food industry has been particularly hit hard but it has been fantastic to see GK Coffee Group opening the doors of their Starbucks restaurants across the region and showing real resilience.

“It is a pleasure to see the return of their loyal customers. The CBILS is designed to provide financial support to small and medium-sized enterprises across the UK that have been losing revenue and seeing their cashflow disrupted because of the COVID-19 outbreak.

“I am delighted to help Bhopinder Singh Gill and his team, giving them the confidence to continue to trade and support the future success of the business.”

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