3 February 2020
"Going directly to loan companies felt like a better option for us, the rates were slightly better and it felt like an easier process."
Nick Campbell wanted to expand his chain of cocktail bars in London and launch the newest Simmons Bar in Soho. To do it, he and his business partner Jason needed £50,000 for refurbishments and the down payment on the lease, as well as a flexible line of credit for the future needs of the bar. We helped Simmons Bar find the unsecured loan they needed to quickly secure the perfect premises for a new cocktail bar.
The team's existing business bank was the obvious first choice, and they were offered a £25,000 unsecured loan. But Nick and Jason needed more than this to carry out their plans, and the bank was unwilling to negotiate because their offer was based on trading history — rather than the clear signs of a growing business doing well in the fast-moving London bar scene.
Nick had heard about crowdfunding in a TV ad and considered it for the business. He also approached a second high street bank, but decided that comparing all his options was the best course of action, so he got in touch with Funding Options.
After an assessment of the business and a chat about their options, Nick and Jason chose RateSetter, an innovative peer-to-peer lending platform.
RateSetter looked at Nick and Jason’s considerable experience running profitable bars in London, their excellent track record, and the fact that they’d identified a clear market opportunity – they agreed a £50,000 loan for the new Simmons Bar.
We packaged the deal quickly and it was turned around fast by RateSetter, so Nick and Jason could stick to their tight deadlines and keep the project on track. They also appreciated some of the benefits of RateSetter, like having no early repayment fees and the option to draw down again in the future — both big advantages for a business in a period of fast growth.
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The historic Ruthin Castle Hotel had entered voluntary administration when it could no longer service its debt. Refurbishment plans had overrun and exceeded budget, running to high costs that meant the business was struggling to pay its creditors.
"The process was seamless and happened really quickly. It was a lot more streamlined than the painful bank processes where you’ve got to provide two to four years of books and jump through seven or so hoops. As soon as I told Funding Options what I needed it was like – bang! Here’s your card and your account and away you go."