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24th November 2020

Premium rum brand secures Morrisons listing with backing from NPIF


Northern Powerhouse Investment FundNPIF - BFS & MSIF MicrofinanceGreater Manchester LEP

Manchester-based premium rum brand, Rockstar Spirits, has received a five-figure CBILS-backed loan from NPIF – BFS & MSIF Microfinance, managed by GC Business Finance & MSIF and part of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund, to develop new products and secure new listings with major retailers

Due to the enforced closure of bars and pubs during lockdown, Rockstar Spirits sought additional funding to support its shift to an end consumer-focused retail strategy.

With backing from the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund and the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loans Scheme (CBILS), Rockstar Spirits has already used the money to expand its ‘Bomb’ series of rums, a Navy strength line with 57% ABV, aged for two years in bourbon cask.

The business has also used the loan to strengthen its digital marketing presence and create a new television advert, which is due to be broadcast this month. As a result of the funding, Rockstar Spirits has also secured a new contract to list its range of products with Morrisons.

In August, Rockstar Spirits secured a CBILS-backed loan from NPIF – BFS & MSIF Microfinance, managed by GC Business Finance, to enable it to fulfil heightened demand from existing stockists including Sainsbury’s, Selfridges, Majestic Wines and Amazon.

Tom Hurst, owner and founder of Rockstar Spirits, said: “While bars and pubs may be closed, we’ve seen that many still want to enjoy the experience of a premium drink in the comforts of their own home. When seeking extra funding to cater to this shift in consumer demand, we went straight to GC Business Finance. Our history with them meant that they knew our business inside and out and were able to provide reliable and timely advice.

“At Rockstar Spirits, we’ve focused on making this premium experience possible by shifting our focus to the end consumer. We were able to use our strong retail presence as a platform and are pleased to have signed a new contract with Morrisons, which has been performing well so far. There are some exciting products also in the pipeline with our ‘Bomb’ series. The Banana Bomb has already proven a hit, and we are looking forward to launching Cherry Bomb in the new year.”

GC Business Finance is an alternative provider for businesses unable to obtain finance through their regular bank. It offers loans ranging from £500 to £500,000 and is committed to supporting North West-based SMEs, providing NPIF loans backed by CBILS loans to those that have been adversely affected by COVID-19.

Jala Daly, Senior Loans Manager at GC Business Finance, said: “From receiving a start-up loan to this NPIF funding, it’s been great watching Rockstar Spirits continue to grow its range of products and its presence in the market. Its success is thanks to its brilliant leadership and stand-out products, which are truly unique in the market. At GC Business Finance, we are proud to play a role in the growth of Manchester-based businesses and supporting these businesses as they come up against the challenges that this year has brought.”

Sue Barnard, Senior Relationship Manager at the British Business Bank, said: “The extension of the CBILS scheme means that many more businesses, like Rockstar Spirits, will be able to access funding that could prove decisive to securing jobs and ensuring long-term viability.  It is crucial that in today’s uncertain climate, NPIF is able to continue to support businesses with the vital funds to grow and prosper.”

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.

The MSIF group of funds are managed by Alliance Fund Managers Limited which is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in the course of investment business. Financial Conduct Authority Registration Number is 180891.

BFS Funding Managers Limited is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority as a Small Authorised UK AIFM under firm reference number 608682.

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