In September 2021, The Sir Thomas White Loan Charity – for the first time in the charity’s long history – delivered individual business grants up to the value of £5,000 for ventures in Leicestershire and Rutland needing investment in the wake of the impact of COVID-19.
For Scott Moore, his business, CEL Sports Ltd, was hit massively. Providing sports coaching from grassroots to the top level, the closure of schools and suspension of grassroots sport just as his business was starting forced a quick change in direction. With help from an interest-free business loan from The Sir Thomas White Loan Charity, CEL Sports Ltd was able to open a gym in Glen Parva which, with social distancing in place, enabled the business to continue operating.
However, as Scott explains, the impact of COVID-19 in full led to a huge loss in revenue. When lockdown came to an end, Scott was quick to apply for further help from The Sir Thomas White Loan Charity through a £5,000 grant.
“The Sir Thomas White Loan Charity helped us stay alive as a business,” Scott admitted. “When the country was in lockdown, we weren’t able to work and we ended up losing around nine months of revenue. It cost us massively and it stunted our growth. The grant scheme was launched just as we were coming out of lockdown to support businesses. We capitalised on that opportunity to help us buy new materials like laptops, improve our gym and the equipment there, allow us to implement a marketing plan to advertise what we’re doing and give us a base to spread our name out there a bit more.”
The impact of the grant goes beyond this, however, with that marketing resulting in remarkable growth for CEL Sports Ltd who now work with more partners than ever to deliver coaching, training and an outlet for physical activity.
“It’s worked really well, as we’ve increased the amount of jobs in schools we have, we’re working with more clubs – with more to come this summer, and we’ve been able to increase activity within the studio,” elaborated Scott. “We have Table Tennis England on board and we’ll have a table in place at our venue, we’re in talks with the junior section of the PDC darts corporation to run a darts academy as well. That will all run alongside the personal training offered within the studio. We’ve linked up with Blaby District Council as part of their PARS (Positive Active Referral Scheme) project, so they will signpost people to us who are identified as needing to become more active. The grant has worked really well. It’s given us more of a solid base and a wider scope to meet and reach new people.”
The manner in which Scott has adjusted his business plan and worked hard to deliver something during a challenging year is remarkable. However, Scott is keen to highlight the importance of The Sir Thomas White Loan Charity in enabling that hard work to come to fruition.
“If The Sir Thomas White Loan Charity wasn’t available to help us with both the original interest-free loan and then the grant on top, we wouldn’t be in business. It’s as simple as that,” said Scott. “I have a lot to thank the charity for and I will always recommend it to anybody I know who runs or is involved in a small business.
“Whenever we’ve needed a base to move forward, The Sir Thomas White Loan Charity has been there to help provide it. It’s unbelievable. We had a trustee come and visit us and I was able to show her what we spent the money on, in addition to what we were doing to reach more people. That in turn led to meetings with other people, which have increased our reach massively. We’re planning to take a group of 12 kids to Spain on a cricket tour in October, which shows how much we’ve been able to grow.”
For more information on CEL Sports Ltd, please visit their website at www.celsports.co.uk
Alternatively, please CLICK HERE to find out more about The Sir Thomas White Loan Charity’s interest-free business loans.