What does the lifting of lockdown restrictions mean for small businesses?

24th June 2020

Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Tuesday revealed that from the 4th July, pubs in England will be able to reopen alongside a review of the 2 metre social distancing rule. The move is set to be welcomed by the hospitality industry as pubs and restaurants look to return to normality after over three months of closure.

Private equity investment has been one of the only areas able or willing to provide growth finance to businesses in this arena looking to grow during lockdown. It is also a sector that has provided vital survival finance to firms unable to access any Government support as many Pubs were.

IW Capital has funded over 40 growing small businesses since 2011, including Brewhouse and Kitchen and Borrow My Doggy. In the past few months they have supported a number of businesses looking to grow through lockdown as firms from a variety of sectors who are looking to carry on with – or alter – their plans. This includes the raise of over £2 million to redevelop a well-known landmark in the area into a new community hub now to be known as Rockwater Hove, lead by IW Capital with particular interest from CEO Luke Davis, who is a local resident. The investment was open to other residents of the area and to date has received tremendous support from the local community, both from the public and the council.

This period has been incredibly challenging for every sector of business and especially the hospitality sector, in which many businesses rely on packed spaces to make the most of custom. This new announcement, however, marks an end to the immense uncertainty over the last few months. Innovation will be needed to make new restrictions work for businesses and customers, but this is something that UK SMEs have in spades.

Now could be a fantastic opportunity to support businesses in this sector at a time when they need support most and with the biggest opportunity for growth. When lockdown and social distancing restrictions are eventually fully lifted this period could lead to a new age of innovation and improved customer experience in hospitality, making it an exciting sector to be a part of – especially if investors also take advantage of tax efficient investment schemes, such as the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS).

The EIS is one of the UK government’s most successful initiatives in terms of driving investment into high-growth early-stage companies. It has helped produce some incredible business successes that otherwise may not have got off the ground due to the reluctance of banks to lend to these firms.

To find out more about IW Capital, or for more information on investment and non-executive opportunities, please speak to a member of the IW Capital team today on 020 7015 2250, or email info@iwcapital.co.uk