SUSSEX TRAVEL FIRM OFFERS FREE RIDES TO NHS WORKERS THANKS TO HSBC UK
Published: 21 Jul 2020
Sussex-based A&A Travel, a minibus and coach hire company which operates across three locations in Worthing, Brighton and Chichester, has secured a loan from HSBC UK through the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS).
The funding has enabled the 20-year old company to protect 26 local jobs and adapt its business model to offer free transport for key workers during the Covid-19 pandemic.
With much of the private transport sector temporarily closed, A&A Travel lost all its usual business overnight. Seeing an opportunity to protect the jobs of its team and support the local community, the business set up a free service to take NHS workers to hospitals, key workers’ children to school, care home staff to and from work and to help the vulnerable and elderly do their essential shopping.
The loan from HSBC UK has provided vital support to A&A Travel, helping to cover business costs. The funding will also allow A&A Travel to secure long-term growth and expansion and as well as retaining the 26 staff. The business also hopes to employ more drivers who have been made redundant during the pandemic.
Nick Young, Director and Transport Manager of A&A Travel said: “We have come to a standstill by not being able to conduct our usual business operations. This deal means we can retain our fantastic staff and offer key workers free travel during the pandemic. It’s given me confidence that we can support our staff and customers in the short-term and that our business will fully recover in the long-term.
Andrew Steer, Area Director for Sussex and Surrey at HSBC UK, added: “It’s fantastic that A&A Travel are able to offer key workers free transport during these difficult times. We are delighted to be able to support the good work they are doing in the local community.”
HSBC UK is working closely with the Government and UK Finance to identify emerging issues and make sure customers and businesses have the advice and support they need. For tips and advice for businesses around planning for any possible disruption, visit www.business.hsbc.com/novel-coronavirus.
The new measures build upon the package of support that HSBC UK has already announced for business customers:
Launched BBLS, CBILS, CLBILS and CCFF
· Allocated £5bn to help businesses that need support
· Removed the £100 Small Business Loan fee to relieve the pressure faced by SMEs across the country
· Removed informal overdraft fees – As of 1st April we will no longer apply any Informal Overdraft fees
· Offering repayment holidays to free up cash within businesses
· Stopped all unauthorised overdraft charges
· Reviewing overdrafts or trade loans to allow stock to be held for longer
· Offering companies involved in the supply and manufacture of ventilators preferential pricing, extended repayment terms on loans and fast track approval times to support the unprecedented demand on UK hospitals.
· We have also extended that support to customers that can give immediate help to essential public services and vulnerable people. We are contacting clients involved in the manufacture and supply of Personal Protective Equipment to offer preferential finance and, where possible, the direct purchase of supplies and equipment for essential public services.
· We will also offer similar terms to clients involved in the wholesale of food.
· Our relationship managers have been proactively contacting customers to see what help their businesses need.
· We’ve launched a coronavirus helpline to support any customer queries and a dedicated coronavirus hub on our website.
· For businesses trading internationally:
o £3bn to importers and exporters that need additional support
o pre-approved 60-day extensions on trade loans for customers with a sound trade loan/financing record
o a one-hour turnaround on the issuance of Shipping Guarantees, enabling customers to transfer or receive goods from their counterparty faster
o a dedicated helpline that connects directly with trade finance specialists (0800 783 1300, open 9am – 5pm Monday to Friday), in addition to the support being offered by relationship managers