Since May, they have successfully delivered over £645m to over 24,000 companies. App-based bank Starling lent the most money to firms in the capital, with 6,704 SMEs in London receiving a total of £205.6m. A further £83.5m was lent to 3,207 businesses in the South East, £76.4m to 2,906 SMEs in the North West and £56m went to 2,142 companies in the East of England.
Speaking about the Starling business loan, a spokesperson from Starling Bank said: “The past few months have been extremely challenging for business owners right across the UK. Their companies will play a key role in creating jobs and securing economic growth as we recover from the coronavirus pandemic so we are happy to have been able to help them.”
This scheme has been a great help to many business owners who would have struggled to survive without it in the current climate. Jonathan Sharpe set up his business WebFlair seven years ago, helping small to medium-sized businesses grow their online presence through web design, SEO and digital marketing. He has been banking with Starling for the last two years and took full advantage of the BBLS, saying: “The Bounce Back loan has been a godsend. We would have survived without it, but barely. And it would have taken maybe three or four years to get back to where we were before lockdown.”
“We will be using our Bounce Back Loan to build new features into our business and provide continued essential support to our clients, even if it means we have to charge less to meet diminishing budgets. Our theory is that if we look after our clients during this time, we will bounce back faster and stronger when it’s all over. We also feel that everyone should be doing their bit to help each other at the moment.”
During lockdown, Jonathan has continued to work, helping businesses alter their services and adapt to a new normal. He helped Hatton Garden bespoke jeweller, David Law, take his workshop-based consultation service online and Sussex based cleaning company, Greenstar Cleaners, communicate their launch of coronavirus deep cleaning services. “I want to thank Starling Bank for helping us. Although our loan was fairly small, the difference it will make to us and our clients is huge.”
Michelle Williams, Director of Elementary Sciences, used Starling Bank’s Bounce Back Loan Scheme to help her business strive during lockdown. Elementary Sciences sell mini-laboratory sets and their aim is to get one into every primary school in Wales, but with the closure of schools, this was no longer possible and resulted in their income diminishing. Michelle took this opportunity to take her services online.
Michelle told us: “The business has had to adapt and pivot towards the homeschool learning market, helping parents and kids through this new way of learning which is particularly difficult for science. Science really comes to life when it’s hands on and fun and our kits strive to meet that challenge. We have used the funds from Starling to enable that change and we now sell through our website, Amazon Prime and Etsy and have had orders from as far away as Canada throughout the lockdown. Though our priority remains to persuade kids in Wales how important science is, more so than ever, we have to be flexible in how we achieve our aim.”
The Starling Bank business loan has benefited many companies across the UK. Starling Bank also delivered between £40m to £43m to SMEs in the South West, West Midlands and York and the Humber. £31.4m was lent to 1,384 businesses in the East Midlands, £31.3m to 1,249 SMEs in Scotland, £18m was lent to companies in the North East, Wales received £17.3m and Northern Ireland £7.5m.
Starling Bank hasn’t just helped businesses during the pandemic, they have also launched new products to assist people who hold a personal account with them. They have truly gone above and beyond to offer additional support to those that have struggled financially over the last couple of months. At Compare by Review, we champion great service and we cannot fault Starling Bank.