WEST SUSSEX BREWERY TO CONTINUE TRADING THANKS TO HSBC UK FUNDING

Published: 06 Jul 2020

Pulborough-based Hepworth Brewery has received an overdraft extension and a £500,000 Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) loan from HSBC UK. The funding will enable the company to protect 30 local jobs and adapt its business model to deliver its beer directly to customers as well as start to plan to supply pubs again as the hospitality sector prepares to reopen. 

Hepworth Brewery was established over 20 years ago and creates award winning craft beer, supplying national retailers like M&S and Co-op. In late March, the company lost 75 per cent of its business operations overnight due to the Covid-19 pandemic as suppliers and the hospitality sector temporary closed. 

The six-figure CBILS loan from HSBC UK will provide vital support to Hepworth Brewery, helping to cover business costs and lost income streams. The funding also supports the business’s move to sell beer online to local customers in the West Sussex area - a vital income stream allowing the brewery to continue generating orders despite government restrictions. Hepworth will now also use the funding to prepare to supply pubs again as the hospitality industry plans to reopen to the public. 

Andy Hepworth, Managing Director and Head Brewer of Hepworth Brewery, said: “With the hospitality sector having largely been at a standstill, a lot of our regular clients are no longer trading, which has had a huge impact on our earnings and growth. There is still some uncertainty in the industry about when pubs and restaurants will be open for business again, but we are preparing for the 4th July.

“The CBILS loan from HSBC UK has put Hepworth Brewery in a position to be able to support staff, customers and the business for the next six-month period, ensuring we can survive throughout these difficult times. The loan has also given me personal confidence that our business will fully recover.” 

Andrew Steer, Area Director for Sussex and Surrey at HSBC UK, added: “Over 20 years of experience has seen Hepworth Brewery establish itself as one of the most well-known and respected names in the craft beer industry. We were pleased to be able to support the business despite these unprecedented times and look forward to seeing the business not only recover from this difficult period but continue to grow.” 

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

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