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Mobility business keeps moving with Covid-19 loan support

By James Pugh | Shifnal | Business | Published:

A company that makes mobility equipment for organisations including the NHS and charities has secured a Lloyds Bank loan as it grapples with a slowdown in orders because of Covid-19.

The firm sells equipment to the NHS, councils and charities that support people with mobility issues

Quest88, whose products include equipment for children with cerebral palsy, has agreed a £200,000 funding package with the bank via the government’s Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS). It has also refinanced £110,000 of debt.

The Shifnal-based company manufactures and sells equipment to the NHS, councils and charities that support people with mobility issues, but it has seen a 50 per cent reduction in orders since the Covid-19 lockdown began last month.

As a result it has been forced to furlough nine of the 21 employees, mostly at its sites in Shifnal.

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Quest88, a Lloyds Bank customer for over 20 years, was started by husband and wife team Jeremy Henshaw, who previously worked for the NHS, and Pauline Henshaw. The company – still a family business – has turnover of £2.3 million and specialises in orthotic equipment, which helps to support muscular development.

About 40 per cent of its products are designed and manufactured in Britain with the remainder imported from the US and Germany.

John Dickenson, Quest88’s financial director, said: “We see our products as essential as they improve quality of life for our customers, so although we’ve seen a slowdown in orders we expect to recover quickly when the country returns to some normality after lockdown.

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“It wasn’t an easy decision to furlough some of our employees but unfortunately we need to help secure the long-term future of the business. This new finance means we can trade through the current uncertainty and protect jobs so we get back up to full strength as soon as we can.

“We’ve been with Lloyds Bank for many years and the team were quick to offer support, turning around the loan in just a couple of days.”

Claire Carr, relationship manager at Lloyds Bank, said: “We’re proud of our relationships with long-standing customers like Quest88. It’s a fantastic business whose products improve the lives of people across the UK so we’re very happy to be able to offer a package of support during these extraordinary times.”

James Pugh

By James Pugh
@JamesP_Star

Shropshire Star Business and Farming Editor.

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