HELPING OUR CUSTOMERS SUCCEED LOCALLY
“We feel very fortunate to have been introduced to the Hampshire Bank. After establishing our brewery in 2012 and having traded successfully for 5 years, we were still finding it difficult to access affordable finance from Tier 1 lenders. After many honest conversations with these lenders, it became apparent the amount was for too little for them to be able to make a high enough return. The other options were crowd funding and peer lending which all had much higher interest rates.
The Hampshire Bank’s lending process was thorough yet respectful. We felt that we were starting a new business partnership with our lender, rather than the harsh and demeaning vetting circus we had experienced with distanced underwriters who were out of touch with independent smaller businesses and how they function.
We used the Green Growth Loan to purchase our new brewing system and install into a fit for purpose location. This in turn has allowed us to triple our production, and still with more capacity yet to use. We were also introduced by the Bank to the New Forest Water Company and have now partnered with them to bottle a soft drink product to our recipe and brand. It has been great to find like-minded partners who are willing to try new ideas and to innovate in our local market.
Having a supportive business lender in the Hampshire Bank has meant that we have been able to focus on running and growing our business. Highlighted during the 2020 pandemic when the bank contacted us directly to genuinely see how we were affected, and to see what could be done to help.
If small businesses are to continue to be the backbone of the UK economy, and to thrive during potentially challenging times ahead, we need more Community Banks! In our experience this connected and partnered approach has led to healthy growth, and we could see this sustainably repeated throughout the country.”
Stephen Haigh, Director
”We’ve taken two loans from the Hampshire Community Bank. The first loan was for Bespoke Biking to equip the Bike Hub as we opened in new premises just off the High Street in Winchester. Bespoke Biking is a social enterprise, we offer bicycle hires, bike repairs and have volunteers repairing donated bikes that we give away to children that need them.
As part of our business expansion, we wanted to take over the site with a more visible unit and the loan from the Hampshire Community Bank helped us kit out the shop and get it presentable and ready to open. Within the same year, we opened another business -“The Handlebar Cafe”, the Hampshire Community Bank helped us again. This meant that we had two loans within the same year.
Initially, as we are new to business, we had no business credit score to show to banks. HCB was there for us. The staff members at the HCB are very friendly and it was an easy process to get us set up. We really appreciate the support HCB provided, especially during lockdown. The HCB was proactive and took care of us during the Covid pandemic, by offering us a period of reduced loan re-payments. We were not aware of this possibility so the fact that HCB understood what we were having to deal with in these difficult times was so helpful. We established a good relationship and partnership with the Bank. As a business, we’ve managed to achieve our loan plans and purchased all the equipment, which got us to the next stage. Now, we are ready for new business development plans. Currently, our loan profile is not big, but we are looking forward to working with the HCB again in the future.”
Heather Evans, Director
SOUTHAMPTON FREIGHT SERVICES
”The loan from Hampshire Community Bank allowed our vibrant family business, at that time 17 years old, to realise a dream to design and build a lovely facility for our team to operate from. The support at that time was fantastic, and not only did you help us financially, but also the management team really bought into our passion for the facility. A really nice feeling of support, which I think gives meaning to the term ‘community bank’. We’re forever grateful and continue to grow as a business.”
Ross Negus, Director
”In 2016 at Turbulent Simulation we needed a loan to keep us going whilst we finished the 3D airports for sale on our web site, and the community bank was the only bank at that time that would back us to remain in business.
Since our first loan we have expanded and repaid the first loan now. Turbulent have developed the site and have expanded into new markets designing and visual systems for sensor reading and have a client range from Lockheed Martin, BP, Royal Caribbean to name just a few. COVID-19 has hit our market hard and Hampshire Bank have been excellent for helping our company. They contacted us to see if we wanted to pay interest-only to keep our cash flow in good shape. This has been a blessing. Now we are looking forward to 2021 when we all hope the market will come back and we will be ready to move forward again.”
Trevor Linn, Director
New Forest Spring Water and New Forest Tonic
”We have found Hampshire Bank excellent to deal with over the years and have admired the progress that they have made. We believe that their approach provides a level of concern and support for their clients that larger banks lack. Their flexibility and willingness to listen during the COVID 19 pandemic is an example of this and we cannot praise their management team highly enough.
As the provider of a matched-funding loan, in support of our LEADER application for our new bottling line and carbonator mixer, Hampshire Bank have been open, honest and reliable. Their rates are highly competitive and the overall loan terms are business friendly.
We have been able to increase our production and expand our product range as a direct result of their support. They have been highly proactive, undertaking site visits and meeting with us regularly.
As part of the food and drink sector we are facing some challenges as a result of the impact of lockdowns on hospitality businesses and feel that we have the full support of Hampshire Bank during this time. We have been introduced to other Hampshire businesses by Hampshire Bank management and have started working collaboratively with those businesses as a result.
We believe that we will achieve strong growth next year and will be in a good financial position thanks to the Hampshire Bank team.”
Kevin Cowell, Director