Posted: Tuesday, 5 October 2021 @ 12:14
During the pandemic, all businesses have been affected in different ways. For us, as independent lenders, it has been a strange period. Equally, for many of those we support the most, it has been an era of unprecedented difficulty. Now however, we are all returning and it’s with great excitement that we look forward to building businesses together once again.
Resilient and respected
At Rivers, we have always been strong supporters of salons and the wider wellness and beauty industry. It has been one of the most heavily affected sectors over the last 18 months:
- 67.2% of respondents in a spa and wellness industry survey said that the pandemic had a severe impact on their business.
- It has been reported that beauty and hair businesses found that turnover fell by 45% in 2020.
However, the same sector is now experiencing a phenomenal bounce back, so much so that many are finding it a challenge to meet demand. The spa and beauty industry has also garnered huge respect, from those who always recognised its relevance on the high street, as well as those who are now publicly acknowledging its importance.
At a recent event, Rishi Sunak commented:
“The beauty industry is the best of British business: you are creative, entrepreneurial and innovative – no wonder you are worth £30 billion to the UK economy.”
There is a renewed energy amongst those we work with to build business back and beyond what it was before. While the commentary on the wider UK economy oscillates from positive to lukewarm, it is our businesses that drive recovery and economic growth, and our SMEs that contribute as much as 47% of revenue.
However, City AM's SME Recovery Tracker showed that:
“businesses are now back trading at or above the level they expected, but they are struggling to obtain even the most traditional form of finance.”
Yes, there are government loans, and we will talk about those more at a later date. However, this is not a new challenge for businesses, it is just at an extremely visceral point. SMEs are the backbone of the UK economy, but they need reliable access to the right tools. Rivers has always existed to provide that support.
Business built on relationships
Rivers naturally faced its own challenges during the pandemic, as did the whole independent lending industry. However, the reason we’re able to return to business as usual (and more), is because of the shared support that our network of brokers and customers have provided, and, we hope, the support that we have provided in return.
Relationships are at the core of Rivers, and that’s something we intend to continue to safeguard. Now that we are all coming back, we can do so together. We remain here and ready to provide support. We have more service news to come imminently and we have a new Business Development Manager joining us in November - we look forward to introducing them.
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