Bed & Breakfast Finance Going Forward

2020 is definitely going to be a year to remember. Life went from normal to “lockdown” overnight and hospitality businesses were closed down by the government. So does this mean that you won’t be able to buy a bed and breakfast or guest house in the future?

Of course not, what it does mean is that lenders will see the sector as a higher risk post Covid 19 and as a result loan to value ratios may change. Up until now the maximum loan a new to trade operator would have been able to secure on a bed and breakfast or guest house was 65% of the purchase price meaning you needed at least a 35% deposit plus funds to cover fees such as stamp duty, valuation etc. to be able to buy your dream property.

Going forward we are still to see how lending criteria will change but, having said that, Stewart Hindley & Partners have mainstream and specialist lenders who are still willing to lend on hospitality properties. We don’t know what society will look like after the Covid-19 pandemic has gone but one thing we do know is that many people will be looking to take more short breaks and staycations in the UK rather than travelling abroad.

Post Covid-19 could mean a boom period for bed and breakfast owners which would help them to recover from the sudden loss of their incomes and hopefully inject some confidence back into the sector.

If you are thinking about buying a bed and breakfast or guest house and need the best finance deal available to meet your circumstances speak to us here at Stewart Hindley & Partners as we are specialists in the hospitality sector and if we can’t help no one can!

Contact us today and you could have your own bed and breakfast.

CBILS Funding

CBILS Funding

Lenders are currently overwhelmed with applications and it may well take several weeks before the relevant lending manager gets to look at your case and then assess your application. At Stewart Hindley & Partners we have direct access to your local r lending or relationship managers. By using an FCA approved broker such as ourselves you can dramatically reduce the amount of time your application will take, get the best interest rate available given your circumstances and clarification of your situation in the immediate future.

Not every accredited lender can provide every type of finance available under CBILS, and the amount of finance offered varies between lenders. As “whole of market brokers” we have access to a wide range of lenders and will be able to find you a loan solution even if the prime lenders have declined to help.

Stewart Hindley & Partners will do all the work for you all you need to provide is the relevant supporting information.

The British Business Bank has a lot of information available to small businesses to help them access funds during this unprecedented time a summary of which is below.

The lender makes a decision

The lender, not the British Business Bank has the authority to decide whether to offer you finance.

Under the scheme, lenders will not take personal guarantees of any form for facilities below £250,000.

For facilities above £250,000, personal guarantees may still be required, at a lender’s discretion, but:

  • they exclude the Principal Private Residence (PPR), and
  • recoveries under these are capped at a maximum of 20% of the outstanding balance of the CBILS facility after the proceeds of business assets have been applied

 If the lender turns you down

If one lender turns you down, you can still approach other lenders within the scheme but this will be considered as “new to bank” and differing qualifying criteria may apply.

Access to the scheme has now been opened up to smaller businesses facing cashflow difficulties who previously would not have been eligible for CBILS because they met the requirements for a standard commercial facility.

You may therefore consider re-contacting your lender if you have previously been unsuccessful in securing funding.

Who is eligible

Your business must:

  • Be UK-based in its business activity
  • Have an annual turnover of no more than £45 million
  • Have a borrowing proposal which the lender would consider viable, were it not for the current pandemic
  • Self-certify that it has been adversely impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19).

View the British Bank Quick Eligibility Checklist

https://www.british-business-bank.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/CBILS-check-list-v10.pdf

Businesses from any sector can apply, except the following:

  • Banks, insurers and reinsurers (but not insurance brokers)
  • Public-sector bodies
  • Further-education establishments, if they are grant-funded
  • State-funded primary and secondary schools

View CBILS frequently asked questions for businesses

https://www.british-business-bank.co.uk/ourpartners/coronavirus-business-interruption-loan-scheme-cbils-2/cbils-faqs-for-smes/

 What lenders will need from you

When you apply for a business loan, most lenders will ask you for the following:

Details of the loan

  • The amount you would like to borrow
  • What the money is for — the lender will check that it’s a suitable business purpose and the right type of finance for your needs
  • The period over which you will make the repayments — the lender will assess whether the loan is affordable for you

Supporting documents

You will need to provide certain evidence to show that you can afford to repay the loan. This is likely to include:

  • Management accounts
  • Cash flow forecast
  • Business plan
  • Historic accounts
  • Details of assets

The above requirements will vary from lender to lender. If you do not have everything listed here, a CBILS loan could still be an option to provide finance to support your business.

Note: For many customers approaching their existing lenders for a smaller facility, the process may be automated and therefore may not require the same level of documentation.

To learn more about lenders’ requirements, see the Better Business Finance lending application checklist.

Here’s the link – https://www.british-business-bank.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/BBF_factsheet_-_lending_application_checklist.pdf

Business Support Finance – COVID-19

Launched in response to the coronavirus outbreak, the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) is designed to support UK businesses during this period of disruption. CBILS provides the lender with a Government backed guarantee of 80%, against finance offered under CBILS with the balance of risk being held by the lender.

CBILS is designed to assist with cash flow, initially by way of a Capital Repayment Holiday (Interest only period) of 12 months or a commercial loan over 6 years, with no repayments in the first 12 months followed by a 5-year loan facility on a full repayment basis.

CBILS will only be made available to businesses that were deemed “viable pre Covid 19” and as a consequence a “robust” case must be made for your new Capital Repayment Holiday or loan based on your pre Covid trading information.

It is important to note that if your financial and supporting information isn’t presented correctly to meet the lenders requirements, this could lead to a decline for support, which may impact on your existing loan covenants when considered against your lenders’ “prevailing” debt service criteria which may give your lender cause for concern post Covid 19.

During this period of uncertainty, we at Stewart Hindley & Partners are here to help you and have direct access to all the lenders’ that offer CBILS and who are accredited by the British Business Bank. https://www.british-business-bank.co.uk/. If for any reason your business is not eligible for CBILS then we can provide other routes to finance to support your business.

Given the record levels of demand that banks are incurring for general advice and CBILS applications, we at Stewart Hindley & Partners are able to offer, on your behalf, support through our own FCA relationships with all CBILS accredited lenders.

As a result, we are able to deal with the relevant Business Relationship Manager directly, to ensure a prompt application, with the best possible outcome given your circumstances and thereby take away the uncertainty by securing a decision in-principle within 24 hours.

If you’d like to discuss how we can assist you with your CBILS application or any other funding requirement during these challenging times, then please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us either via completing the contact form or by calling us directly on 01488 684834.

Coronavirus – Business Help Available

As the coronavirus (COVID 19) continues to spread across the UK mortgage lenders have been taking special measures to ensure that borrowers are protected from financial shocks.

Most, if not all, lenders have put in place emergency funding to help existing SME businesses get through this period of uncertainty.

If you feel that your business may come under duress over the coming months, please speak to us now so we can assist you to put in place interest only periods or repayment holidays.

How Much Deposit Do I Need to Buy a Bed and Breakfast?

Opening a bed and breakfast (B&B) can be a great way to generate income while stepping back from the typical 9 to 5. It’s hard but rewarding work, and enables you to create a business that reflects your personality and passion as a hospitality business operator.

However, unless you live in a large property with a significant number of spare rooms, you will need to invest in a new property in order to set up a B&B business.

In most cases, that will mean taking out a mortgage. But what sort of mortgage will you need? And how much deposit will you be expected to pay when you buy your bed and breakfast?

As with any mortgage, different lenders will have different requirements when it comes to deposits for a B&B. The type of mortgage you will need will depend on a number of factors, including how much of the total space in the property will be used for commercial purposes.

Deposit for a commercial mortgage

In most cases, if you are using less than 40% of the property for personal use, you will require a commercial mortgage, or a semi-commercial mortgage.

Most commercial mortgages require a deposit of between 30% and 40%, depending on the level of risk they deem your business to come with and the type of commercial mortgage you have applied for.

Buying a B&B without a deposit

Whichever way you buy your B&B you will need a deposit.

If you don’t have a cash deposit for your bed and breakfast, you may be able to release equity from your existing property or another property to release the necessary funds for the purchase of the new B&B and Stewart Hindley can help with this.

If you’re considering buying a bed and breakfast, it’s important to speak to someone experienced in the hospitality finance sector to ensure that you are aware of all the funding options available to you. Get in touch to speak to one of our skilled and experienced team.

How To Turn Your Home Into a Guesthouse

Running a guesthouse can be rewarding and fun, not to mention a great way to make money from your property without having to sell it.

However, it’s important to keep in mind that running a guesthouse is a big commitment, and there are rules to follow and standards to meet.

Here are just some of the things you need to consider if you’re thinking of turning your home into a guesthouse.

Starting a guesthouse business

Get The Relevant Permissions

Before you can open your guesthouse, you’ll need to acquire the relevant permissions, so your first step should be to contact your local council to see what is legally required.

If you’ll be carrying out building work on the property, you may need to apply for planning permission. Regulations change frequently and vary depending on where your property is located, so be sure to check in with your local planning office.

Even if you aren’t making any structural changes to the property, you might need to complete a change of use application before you can open your home as a guesthouse. Again, ensure you check these details with your local council.

You’ll also need to comply with fire and gas safety legislations, as well as food standards if you’re planning on serving any meals on the premises.  Find out more by contacting your local environmental health department.

Finally, make sure you contact your mortgage provider and insurer. You may need to update your policy and will need to switch your existing mortgage to a commercial mortgage.

Fit Out The Guest Rooms

Once all the relevant permissions are in place, you’ll need to ensure that your property is up to the job of hosting visitors. That means properly furnished bedrooms with facilities including WiFi, TVs, storage space, and tea and coffee making facilities. Today, most guests will also expect their room to come with an en suite bathroom.

If you’re offering breakfast or other meals at your guesthouse, you’ll need a dining room where your guests can comfortably enjoy their meals.

Finishing touches such as bathrobes, slippers, and washing products can go a long way to ensuring your guests have a memorable experience.

Market Your Guesthouse

If you want to promote your guesthouse effectively, a good website is essential – make sure it’s responsive on all devices, appealing, and optimised for search engines such as Google. Social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram are also useful ways to market your guesthouse successfully.

Running Your Guesthouse

Running a guesthouse can be immensely enjoyable and rewarding, but you’ll also come up against several challenges.

One thing to always keep in mind is that this isn’t just a hobby, you’re running a business and it’s important to approach every aspect of your guesthouse with a business mind to ensure that it is a success.

That’s not to say you shouldn’t have fun! Part of the attraction of running a guesthouse is the interaction with guests, building lasting friendships and ensuring visitors get the most out of their stay.

Running a guesthouse is flexible – you can choose when you want people to stay and when you’d rather have the space to yourself. But it’s important to set boundaries if you want to avoid working 24/7 and burning out. Have house policies in place, including setting out the times breakfast will be available and when reception service will be provided.

Get In Touch

If you’re thinking of turning your home into a guesthouse, get in touch. We can help you find the most effective way to re-finance or release capital to launch your guesthouse.

What You Need to Know About Financing a Pub Purchase

Many people who run pubs start off as tenants or leaseholders before considering buying a freehold once they’ve built up their knowledge, skills and experience.

Buying a pub and running it as a free house means you will be an independent business without any ties to a specific brewery or company – so you’ll be fully in charge of every decision.

Of course, buying a pub will usually require some form of finance. If you’re thinking about buying a pub, here’s what you need to know about financing a pub purchase.

Commercial mortgage for pubs

Taking out a commercial mortgage is another way to fund your pub. Working in the same way as a traditional, domestic mortgage, a commercial mortgage will be secured against the property and can form up to 75 percent of the market value of the pub.

Commercial mortgages can be surprisingly affordable. Unlike residential mortgages, they do not have standard rates of interest, meaning the lending manager will look at each application on its own merits in order to determine the level of risk involved and set the rate accordingly.

Of course, securing a mortgage that allows you to buy a freehold or leasehold pub naturally involves several different steps to those required to finance a house purchase.

Merchant cash advance for pubs

While a merchant cash advance is not a suitable finance method for funding the initial purchase of your pub, it may well provide an effective solution for covering costs such as equipment or other unexpected expenses, as well as expansion, stock, or renovation.

If you have a sudden or unexpected need for finance to keep your pub running and your customers happy, a merchant cash advance could provide a quick and flexible solution. This type of pub financing works particularly well for pubs that accept credit and debit card payments, as the advance is repaid this way.

Expert advice

If you’re looking for funding to finance a pub purchase, one of the first things you should do is consult a specialist broker who will be able to provide further information about the options available to you, and search the market for the best possible offers.

At Stewart Hindley, we are experts in this sector. Get in touch to find out more or to arrange a completely free, no-obligation consultation.

4 Tips for Appliance Safety in Your B&B

Beckie Hatton is a Product Manager at Home Appliance Care, so she understands exactly how important it is to have safe and efficient electrical appliances. Here, she offers her advice to B&B owners who want to follow the rules and keep guests safe.

All B&B owners have a legal responsibility to safeguard the public and their employees from harm (legislation.gov.uk). More specifically, you must make sure your electrical appliances are well-maintained and fit for purpose to prevent fires, gas leaks, electric shocks, and other disasters.

Small hospitality businesses that fail in their legal obligations can face serious consequences, from penalties and lawsuits to property damage and fatalities. So, it’s important to stay on top of maintaining the electrical appliances in your kitchen, guest rooms, and communal areas to keep your guests safe.

Below, I’ll be sharing some of my tips for making sure the appliances in your B&B are safe to use.

Which appliances to check

Any utensils and appliances that are battery operated or can be plugged into the mains must be well maintained and regularly reviewed. You should check them for signs or wear or damage at least once every month as part of your fire risk assessment (gov.uk), and they will have to be serviced or PAT tested every 6-12 months to be declared fit for use (pat.org.uk).

When you first think about which appliances in your B&B could be considered high-risk, most people rightly think of ovens, toasters and straighteners that are designed to heat up. But washing machines and tumble dryers account for more than a third of domestic fires, significantly more than cookers (11%), so it’s crucial that you keep on top of the maintenance of these appliances in particular (Which?).

Should I call an engineer?

You should contact an electrical engineer if you have any concerns about the internal wiring of your appliances rather than attempt to fix them yourself. Tampering with electrical systems can cause injuries or fatalities, and if you don’t have the right tools or knowledge you could put yourself and everyone else on the premises at risk.

Plus, tampering with your appliances usually voids their warranty and your insurance policy, so you’ll have to cover the cost of repairing and replacing any damaged machines. It’s safer and cheaper overall to let the professionals deal with it instead.

Common faults to watch out for

External issues like loose plugs, switches and outlets can often be amended by a quick screw retightening, and you can also replace any broken casings yourself using just basic tools and knowledge — but you must switch off and unplug everything first so there’s no electrical current.

If you notice your plugs, outlets and switches are getting warm, it could be a wiring issue that can cause a fire if not immediately fixed. In this case, these will need to be repaired or replaced as soon as possible and you should not attempt to use the appliance while you wait for the electrician.

Flickering lights or displays on your appliances, as well as your bulbs burning out too quickly, can be indicators that there is a loose connection somewhere inside the machine. If you notice any of these problems, you should stop using the appliance and call a professional immediately.

How to look after your appliances

Never skip your monthly fire risk assessments, annual services, or scheduled PAT tests. Fires and other electrical dangers don’t just happen as the result of faulty products — appliances that aren’t properly maintained pose a risk too. Failing to clean them properly, check them over regularly, and take care of small problems can lead to huge disasters, so you must have adequate maintenance strategies in place to tackle all these issues.

Encourage your kitchen staff to clean appliances at the beginning and end of each day to prevent build ups of food crumbs, grease and other debris — just be sure that they follow the manufacturer’s instructions for doing this safely. Cleaning in a way the manual suggests will also protect your appliances from corrosive damage which can lead to electrical issues, such as loose wiring. So, hang onto your user manuals and double check all their cleaning practices are compliant with the manufacturer’s suggestions.

These are just some of the ways you can make sure the appliances in your B&B are as safe as possible. By giving them a quick look over as often as you can and promptly reporting any issues to an electrician, your appliances can be safe for use and you can get on with managing your guesthouse.

Everything You Need to Know About Commercial Mortgages

Whether you’re thinking of investing in a property for your business or you want to free up equity from an existing property, a commercial mortgage could be the answer.

Here’s our guide to everything you need to know about commercial mortgages.

What is a commercial mortgage?

A commercial mortgage is a mortgage that is specifically designed for buying or refinancing land or property for business purposes.

Commercial mortgages are typically available to cover 70 – 75 percent of a property’s value, and usually last between three and 25 years. Business mortgage plans differ from standard residential mortgages in several ways.

You’ll likely have to pay a higher interest rate than a residential mortgage and there aren’t generally any fixed rates available. However, in comparison to business loans, commercial mortgages do tend to offer better rates as they are secured against the property.

Is a commercial mortgage right for you?

If you’re a business looking to purchase a property or release value from an existing building, which can then be re-invested into the business, a commercial mortgage could be for you.

There are several benefits to taking out a commercial mortgage, for example:

  • The interest paid on a commercial mortgage is tax deductible
  • If the property increases in value, your equity could also increase

Is it hard to get a commercial mortgage?

Anyone can apply for a commercial mortgage, from small start-up businesses through to large, well-established enterprises.

Of course, like any mortgage, to qualify for a commercial mortgage, you’ll need to pass your lender’s eligibility checks and meet certain criteria. These checks typically analyse:

  • Cash flow and any debts
  • Projected income
  • Your ability to pay a deposit, usually ranging between 20 – 40 percent of the loan amount
  • General income, credit and assets

Just like a residential mortgage, it’s important to search the market for the best possible deal available. What’s more, commercial mortgages are generally quite complex, hiring a specialist broker can help make the application process far easier, while ensuring that you get the best deal on the market.

At Stewart Hindley Commercial Finance, we’re experts when it comes to commercial lending. With extensive market experience and knowledge, we can provide information and advice, and source the best possible deals.

Get in touch for a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss your commercial mortgage requirements.

The Definitive Guide on How to Market Your Hotel

You’ve set up an incredible hotel, with comfortable, stylish rooms, all the very latest amenities, and a great team.

But what use is having the best facilities, location, and customer service if no one knows you exist? That’s where marketing comes into play.

Building an effective marketing strategy for your hotel will help you to reach out to potential customers, maximise bookings and boost revenue.

Here’s our definitive guide to successfully marketing your hotel.

Get Online

Today, being online and present in the digital space is everything in the world of marketing. With at least 95 percent of consumers carrying out research online before the make any travel purchases, it’s vital that your hotel has a website if you want to effectively market it.

Your website is your shop front, and should be professional, credible, and show your hotel in the best possible light. Include plenty of high-quality images, video content, and details about the rooms and amenities.

It’s also well worth considering integrating an online booking system into your site to make it as seamless, quick and easy as possible for potential guests to arrange their stay.

Ensure You’re Easy to Find

Having a website isn’t enough. If you want to ensure your hotel is receiving as many enquiries as possible, it’s vital that your audience can successfully locate you online.

This means ensuring that your website is optimised for search engines (Google) – so, when guests search for hotels in your area, you come up as high as possible in the rankings.

Make The Most of TripAdvisor

While your website and social media platforms will allow you to tell everyone just how great your hotel is, TripAdvisor allows your guests to tell them – and that can be significantly more powerful.

Before booking a room at your hotel, most guests will check your reviews, so managing your online reputation is crucial.

TripAdvisor is the world’s largest travel review site, with approximately 390 million unique visitors each month. This presents a huge marketing opportunity for hotels.

So, make sure you set up your free TripAdvisor profile, populate it with as much useful information as possible, regularly check reviews and engage with your guests.

Respond to Reviews

Once you’ve started receiving reviews, it’s important to monitor them and respond accordingly.

It’s only natural that you’ll receive a less-than-perfect review from time to time, but the nature in which you respond to those reviews will make all the difference.

Make sure you respond to any negative reviews as quickly as possible and try to resolve or address the guest’s feedback or complaint in a useful manner.

Remarketing is Essential

Abandonment rates for booking hotels online are high, meaning plenty of potential guests will visit your site, start the booking process, and then get distracted and not complete the booking. This is where remarketing comes in.

A remarketing campaign will allow you to remind your guests about your hotel, provide them with extra incentives to book, and make completing the process as easy as possible.

Reward Customer Loyalty

Marketing isn’t just about targeting new customers – it’s just as important to reach out to existing customers and encourage them to revisit your hotel.

A customer loyalty scheme is an effective way to get your guests to return time and time again, by offering discounts and rewards to regular visitors.

Get in Touch

For more information about the hospitality business, and in particular hotel finance, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.