A Leeds wine business is expanding and seeking more staff, thanks to funding for its new division which was launched during lockdown.

House of Wine delivered exclusive wines to restaurants and bars all over the UK before COVID-19 hit, but when the hospitality industry was paused, owner Michael Hoult and his partner adapted and created Doorstep Wine, to deliver different and unique wine products to homeowners in the Leeds area.

Michael explains: “Doorstep Wine has really taken off, as have lots of other local businesses - we were delighted to use our expertise in a different way and thanks to £30,000 funding from the Business Enterprise Fund, we could take time to adapt and develop that side of the business while the hospitality industry was put on hold. We’re now looking to take someone on to head it up as we reintroduce our ontrade side of the business.”

Not-for-profit finance company, the Business Enterprise Fund (BEF) has delivered over £5m to northern businesses in the last two months, saving 800 jobs in the process.

Steve Waud, CEO, said: “It’s been a record two months, as we were the first in the country to deliver a CBILS loan to business - even though we are a small, regional boutique lender - but we did because we have a great team and the will to help businesses through the COVID-19 crisis.

“We have been working round the clock to help those businesses get the money they need to survive and then ultimately thrive.”

Michael added: “The support from the local community has been fantastic and thanks to that - and the loan from BEF - we will hopefully go on to thrive.”

BEF provides finance to help community development, business growth and job creation by providing loans when other lenders can’t fully assist. The company was formed in 2004 and now operates all over Yorkshire and Humberside, the North East, and the North West.

Ashleigh Smith
Article by Ashleigh Smith
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