Published on June 11th, 2020 | by Alastair Gilmour0
Setting sail with the loan arranger
One of the country’s leading providers of Start Up Loans for Business has announced its 6,000th customer – its local pub in Gateshead.
Transmit Startups has invested more than £64m in new enterprises across the length and breadth of the UK since being set up in 2013 to deliver the Government-backed scheme. But it came as something of a surprise to discover its milestone customer is the owner of The Schooner, less than a mile away from its own front door at the Northern Design Centre in Felling – and a favourite destination of the Transmit team.
Gateshead entrepreneur Paul Smith bought The Schooner on the banks of the River Tyne which fulfilled his dream of owning his own place after 18 years of running The Three Tuns in Sheriff Hill as a landlord.
Visitors to the independent free house have voted The Schooner as Gateshead’s the number one pub on Tripadvisor thanks to its offering of cask ale, live music, home-cooked food and special riverside location. The £14,000 Start Up Loan will fund kitchen renovations to ensure The Schooner is ready to start an exciting new chapter once current lockdown restrictions are lifted.
The pub had already adapted to the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic by developing a takeaway and delivery service offering favourites from its menu, Sunday lunches and popular two-pint containers of ale.
Paul Smith says he is modelling The Schooner on pubs he loves in the Lake District that offer a warm welcome to families, dogs, walkers and cyclists. He said: “I’d always really liked the pub so when I found out it the previous owners were ready to move on, I saw it as a perfect opportunity to have my own business rather than just running one for someone else.
“The timing obviously hasn’t been ideal but we haven’t missed a day of trading because of lockdown and it hasn’t dampened my spirits or stopped me from planning the improvements I want to make. With only a few months of trading behind me I wasn’t eligible for a bank loan so started looking elsewhere for financial support and Transmit Startups was recommended to me as an alternative.
“We now have all of the equipment and are ready to start our kitchen refit as soon as we can bring in contractors. Then we’ll be in a position to really benefit from the investment and to bring more good times to our loyal customers and many new ones.”
Transmit Startups employs 28 people across its head office at Northern Design Centre, Gateshead, its Scottish base in Glasgow, and its network of consultants across the UK. It offers funding, consulting, coaching and mentoring services to entrepreneurs throughout their business journey, providing fixed-interest loans and high impact mentoring to aspiring entrepreneurs who are struggling to access traditional finance. The loans are available to businesses under two years old.
Transmit commercial director Richard Myers said: “It’s especially satisfying to know our 6,000thcustomer is also a home-grown Gateshead entrepreneur who we can share a celebratory drink with – even if that has to be at a two-metre distance for now.”