The business Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS) is designed to help small businesses affected by coronavirus get back on their feet as quickly as possible. On Monday 11 May, we opened BBLS applications with our first loans going out within hours. Here, we speak to four Starling business customers about why they applied and how they plan to use the loan to maintain and boost their business.
Candles of hope: Osmology
Elizabeth Drew is the founder of online candle retailer Osmology. "I started with a small men’s lifestyle shop in Bristol. Soon, I began to notice that the guys coming in were buying a lot of scented candles which really surprised me. The more I looked into candles and fell in love with brands from across the world, the more it became obvious that there wasn’t anywhere I could easily get my hands on them in the UK." Osmology, founded in 2017, curates a range of independent home fragrance brands and sells a selection of scented candles and gift sets, as well as a monthly subscription box.
"I was just at the point of needing to take someone on to help me with the business when coronavirus hit," she says. "It’s been a balancing act doing everything myself. But being busy is a good problem to have." She’s found that lots of customers have been buying candles as gifts, or as a treat for themselves while spending more time at home.
Elizabeth has used Starling for her business banking for the last year, when she opened up a business account for her limited company. "Starling has been absolutely fantastic from day one," she says. "Applying for the loan was an amazingly quick experience."