Scottish knitwear manufacturer secures crucial loans to counter pandemic impact


During the coronavirus pandemic, Scotland ‘s leading newspaper, the Daily Record reports, a Stewarton, Scotland-based businessman says a quarter-a-million-pound loan was vital for his firm.

A leading knitwear manufacturer, Robert Mackie of Scotland employs 70 staff and has its products stocked in dozens of shops all over the world. However, the company, which has been making knitted accessories of high quality since 1845, was not immune to the impact of COVID-19, the newspaper said.

The company has managed to obtain access to the government-backed Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS), which will provide working capital and finance fixed costs during the COVID-19 lockdown before normalized trading resumes to sustain the historic company.

Barclays Bank has also provided assistance to the business through its Back to Business initiative, a toolkit to help SMEs across Scotland evaluate their company’s overall health and build a tailored contingency plan for difficult times, according to the Daily Record. In addition to helping qualifying businesses accessing CBILS, through the Thriving Local Economies project, Barclays is also expanding its broader support for the Kilmarnock economy; an economic development program aimed at supercharging economies in smaller towns.

Barclays has joined forces with local leaders across government , industry, and education through the pilot to determine how to improve the local economy through a groundbreaking study and tailor-made programs and resources to promote business growth, skills , training, and confidence, the report explains.

Graeme Haddow, managing director of Robert Mackie of Scotland, commented: “We’re grateful to Barclays for the support they have offered during what is a worrying time for many businesses.”

“Robert Mackie of Scotland has a proud history and our team is deeply rooted in this community. We knew we needed to move quickly to provide security for our company and certainty for our family of staff, and thankfully Barclays offered guidance through every step of the CBILS application process as well as other assistance through the Back to Business scheme.”

“The package of support offered was vital for the business until trading normalises again.”

Stuart Brown, Head of Branch and Business Banking, Scotland at Barclays UK added: “We are extremely pleased to have helped another company in the Kilmarnock region that has access to the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme and I am sure that Robert Mackie of Scotland now has the support it needs to move through this time of disruption caused by the lockdown.”

“By helping eligible businesses access CBILS, as well as other initiatives such as the Thriving Local Economies pilot and the Back to Business programme, Barclays is going all-out to support the local economy in Kilmarnock through these difficult times.”