The independent Sri Lankan street food chain, The Coconut Tree, has received government- backed funding to withstand business disruption.
Having been turned away by the bank, The Coconut Tree approached SWIG Finance to gain access funding which will help safeguard 160 jobs and sustain the business during the COVID-19 crisis.
After putting down roots and opening the first restaurant in Cheltenham in 2016, the business has expanded and now operates through six highly popular restaurants based in Southern England and Wales, including two restaurants in Bristol.
The Coconut Tree offers casual dining in authentic Sri Lankan style. Like many other businesses in the hospitality sector, social distancing measures put in place by the government have significantly impacted the business. The Coconut Tree has been able to adapt their business model so that they can continue trading by offering their customers a takeaway service.
Prior to COVID-19, business had been booming. Their newest restaurant, located in Bournemouth, opened doors in December 2019. Plans are in place to continue with their expansion post-COVID; however they are of course mindful that these plans are dependent on how the current situation unfolds.
SWIG Finance Business Manager, Nicola Mapp, commented “We were delighted to be able to support The Coconut Tree. It is clear that the business has solid foundations and we are optimistic that business will return to its level of pre-COVID trading once restrictions have been lifted”.
Business Owner, Mithra Fernando said “This funding will go a long way in ensuring that the business can continue trading in a post-COVID environment. Our Business Manager, Nicola Mapp, was very supportive throughout the process and was on hand to answer any questions we had regarding the application process.”
Matt Boggan, senior relationship manager at Triodos Bank UK, who provided a loan to SWIG to support funding such as this, added: “Making money work for positive social, environmental and cultural change is central to the bank’s ethos. Key to this is providing finance to help start-ups and growing businesses fulfil their potential, as these enterprises really have the ability to transform a community.
“We’re proud to be supporting SWIG, alongside another likeminded organisations. Its aim to make finance more accessible and inclusive aligns closely with our own values.”
About SWIG Finance
As an accredited CBILS Lender, SWIG Finance provides loans from £50,001 – £250,000 to SMEs based in the South West.
If you have been unable to access the finance your business needs, get in touch with our friendly and professional team to discuss your requirements. Email us on firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 01872 227 932.