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A man and woman stood outside of the Senate House door

Senate Training

Partner:BFS & MSIF

Region:North West


Programme:Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund

A man and woman stood outside of the Senate House door

Specialist social impact lender, GC Business Finance (GCBF) provided Senate Training with a CBILS-backed loan through NPIF – BFS & MSIF Microfinance, which is part of the Northern Powerhouse Fund.

Alsager-based Senate Training was established 20 years ago by husband and wife Paul Keeling and Janet Keeling. The business operates a Global Security Operations Centre with 24-hour a day CCTV monitoring and alarm receiving for large premises such as corporate buildings, privately owned citey centre areas and shopping centres. The firm also provides bespoke training for emergency incident management and business continuity, as well as risk consultancy services to protect businesses against crime, protests and terrorism.

The current lockdown measures imposed by Government have forced the training and consultancy arms of the business to pause for the foreseeable future. The NPIF loan using CBILS backing provided by alternative finance provider GC Business Finance has allowed the Senate Global Security Operations Centre to remain open, meaning clients’ CCTV is still under surveillance and 15 members of staff are still working.

The funding will also support the company’s efforts to diversify its offering to include online training, as it looks to develop virtual classrooms. This could potentially allow for Paul and his team to open back up their training revenue stream in what would typically have been their busiest time, April through November.

Paul Keeling, CEO at Senate Training, said: “Our business has been adversely impacted by the crisis, with the current lockdown measures meaning that two significant revenue streams have suddenly dried up. However, we still have a duty of care to protect our clients from existing and evolving threats, so it was imperative that our Security Operations Centre continued to operate on a 24/7 basis.

“Matt and the Team at GC Business Finance had a refreshingly  different approach to the methods used typically by High Street Banks. They gave consideration to exactly how we had been affected by the Conronavirus crisis and focused on understanding our business and its potential. The facility provided by them will help us to navigate this extremely challenging period, and support innovation in terms of the design and launch of a portfolio of digital learning products.”

Matt Robinson, Fund Manager at GC Business Finance, said: “Senate Training is a reputable business with impressive scale, and we are proud to support Paul and his team at a time of dire need. GC Business Finance is committed to helping companies in the North West that have felt the impact of the coronavirus, and we would encourage business owners to consider applying for funding if they require financial support during these unprecedented times.”

Sue Barnard, Senior Manager at British Business Bank said: “In the current climate, it is essential that funds are deployed as quickly and efficiently as possible to ensure the safety of so many impacted businesses. It’s encouraging to see GC Business Finance complete yet another NPIF loan backed by CBILS , and we hope this funding will make a huge difference to Senate Training in these difficult times.”

Clare Hayward MBE DL, Chair of Cheshire and Warrington LEP said: “It’s fantastic to see Senate Training adapting their business to deal with the current challenges Covid-19 presents. The government schemes are a new form of finance and the LEP would urge all businesses to explore their eligibility, using services like the Business Growth Hub.  Gaining an NPIF loan backed by CBILS is testament to the work of Paul, Janet and the rest of the team and will ensure they can continue successfully and be in the best possible position moving forward.”

GCBF is committed to supporting North West-based SMEs, providing CBILS loans to those that have been adversely affected by the coronavirus. This scheme builds upon GCBF’s existing range of loans across the alternative finance market, including Microfinance from the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund, as well as Start Up Loans on behalf of British Business Bank. GCBF is positioned to lend to businesses that otherwise couldn’t access funding from mainstream lenders in a fast and responsible approach to lending.

CBILS provides facilities of up to £5m for smaller businesses who are experiencing lost or deferred revenues, leading to disruptions to their cashflow. Delivered by the British Business Bank, through 40+ accredited lenders and partners, CBILS will support the continued provision of finance to UK smaller businesses during the Covid-19 outbreak.

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.

Editors Notes

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