Hull Boxes & Packaging, which has been helping retailers take advantage of the boom in online sales during the COVID-19 pandemic, managed to secure a £110,000 loan; jointly funded by alternative lending provider Finance For Enterprise and the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund (NPIF), and backed by CBILS.
The Humber-based business specialises in supplying bespoke corrugated cardboard and plastic containers. It saw demand for its packaging products boom during lockdown, as many of its customers switched operations to online deliveries and click-and-collect services.
Operating from a 30,000sq ft production facility, Hull Boxes & Packaging recognised it needed to invest in the machinery used to produce its product range. The company approached finance broker Choice Business Loans, where Finance For Enterprise stepped in to provide the vital funds needed to invest in its new machinery, as well as providing working capital to overcome supply chain problems.
Half of the investment is provided directly by Finance For Enterprise, with the remaining £55,000 of funding provided by NPIF – BEF & FFE Microfinance, part of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund.
The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund project is supported financially by the European Union using funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020 and the European Investment Bank.
With funding in place, Hull Boxes was able to purchase a new die cutter and gluing and stitching machines, helping the company to increase capacity and meet rising demand for its packaging services. As a direct result of the investment secured, the company is on target to see turnover rise by nearly £500,000. It has also successfully created three new jobs and is planning to recruit a number of new apprentices to its workforce.
Hull Boxes & Packaging managing director, Richard Britton said: “When the first national lockdown was announced, like many companies, we had to change our operations overnight. Many of the businesses we supplied switched from supplying retailers to delivering directly to customers. Our business was working at full capacity and we recognised that in order to continue to meet demand, it was vital to upgrade some of the machinery we were reliant upon.
“We’ve worked with Choice Business Loans previously and they were able to help us secure funding with Finance For Enterprise. The process was simple and straightforward and as a direct result of the funds we’ve received, we’ve been able to expand our workforce and we’re also hoping to invest in the next generation by creating new apprenticeships in the summer.”
Choice Business Loans loan adviser Sharon Cook said: “Like many businesses, Hull Boxes & Packaging had been initially rejected from accessing support through the CBILS lending scheme. However, after researching different CBILS providers, I approached Finance For Enterprise. My investment manager Tim Daniels listened and, after discussing the business’ plans and the impact the investment in machinery would have, not only in terms of productivity but job creation, Tim was able to put the finance in place to help Richard overcome the challenges posed by COVID-19. In my experience, many lenders often tend to look for reasons not to lend to a business… Tim’s approach was incredibly refreshing. He provided constructive feedback on the application, kept us updated throughout the process and, within a matter of weeks, Richard was able to draw down the vital funds his business needed.”
Finance For Enterprise provides a range of tailored loans up to £250,000, aimed at supporting SMEs throughout Yorkshire and the North Midlands. The company is a delivery partner for the British Business Bank-backed Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme and acts as fund manager for the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund and Start Up Loans UK.
Finance For Enterprise senior investment manager Tim Daniels said: “As more and more businesses invested in online sales, demand for packaging boomed during lockdown but, for businesses like Hull Boxes & Packaging, this brought about additional pressures. The CBILS loan scheme was created to help businesses to successfully navigate their way through the COVID-19 pandemic. For Hull Boxes & Packaging this meant responding to the challenges posed by a full order book and managing supply chain pressures.
The support has helped Richard’s business to enjoy a record year of growth, and the funding provided by NPIF and Finance For Enterprise has helped the business to adapt and successfully evolve during a particularly challenging time for many companies.”
Hull Boxes & Packaging was founded by Richard Britton in 2013 after spending more than 20 years working in the packaging industry. The company specialises in delivering bespoke packaging to businesses across the UK and specialises in the conversion of corrugated board and plastics used within the food and drink industry.
British Business Bank senior manager, Melanie Ellyard said: “This investment into Hull Boxes & Packaging exemplifies the work that NPIF is doing across the North of England. By supporting businesses with the funds to recruit new staff and move premises, we are creating a more prosperous regional economy for the future, and in turn helping to reduce the regional disparities between the North and the South.”