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REL Group, a wholesale electronics supplier and recruitment specialist, has secured a £250,000 Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan (CBIL) to support it in the wake of COVID-19.

The Port Glasgow based business has two main arms including REL Supply Chain Services, providing computer manufacturing and servicing to businesses across the world. It also offers temporary and permanent search and selection services to a range of sectors via REL Recruitment.

The management team approached Barclays for support under the government-backed CBIL scheme to manage working capital and meet essential overheads including employee wages and furlough payments.

Due to the international nature of the business, it was impacted early by the pandemic. REL Group experienced a noticeable decline in supply chain orders in March while its recruitment division saw the majority of its temporary contracts cancelled as UK businesses moved into lockdown later that month.

Tom Harwood, REL Group CEO and owner, said: “The knock-on effects of the pandemic to our business were notable and we brought in a number of measures including significant wage reductions for senior management, a six-month rent holiday for our operating premises, all non-essential costs were removed and we negotiated three-month capital repayment holidays on existing facilities. We’ve also taken advantage of the government’s furlough scheme, putting nine of our 22 staff on furlough.

“We worked collaboratively with Barclays to complement the measures we had in place and the CBIL provided by the bank will help to protect cashflow during these uncertain times.”

Helen Hutchison, Relationship Director, Barclays Corporate Banking team in Scotland, said: “REL Group is a well-established business with over 25 years of trading under its belt. We’ve been the principal bank for six years and were impressed with the immediate actions implemented by the management team to control costs and manage creditors and funders. These actions, coupled with the CBIL facility, will help to ensure business continuity through the period of impacted trading.”

Ashleigh Smith
Article by Ashleigh Smith
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