An award-winning children’s nursery has been saved from the brink of closure thanks to expert help from a leading Shropshire financial company.
Best Friends Day Nursery, in Chester, faced closure when their landlord gave them notice to quit but the pandemic stopped them from finding a new home.
After a traumatic few years, the nursery is now back up to 14 staff and 52 children and has been shortlisted for the Cheshire High Sheriff’s Family Business Award. Owners Julie and Cliff Davies credit the timely intervention of Q Financial Services with helping to keep the business going.
David Wells, partner of commercial finance at Q, used his expertise to find Julie and Cliff a loan to keep the business afloat during the turmoil.
David said: “It is heartbreaking when good businesses stop trading for the want of a little short-term support. I’m delighted that we were able to help Julie and Cliff find the loan they needed to keep going while the axe was hanging over them, and it’s great that they are now going from strength to strength again.
“There are a lot of options for businesses who might be going through a difficult patch, but they can be difficult to access without help. Good financial advice is essential – and it could save your business.”
Owner Julie Davies said Best Friends was plunged into problems when the owners of the previous building, the church, gave notice that the lease would not be renewed because a more financially beneficial deal had been agreed with another company.
She said: “We had 18 months to find somewhere but then Covid came. Although we stayed open for critical workers, we couldn’t go out to look for new premises. We were let down so many times at the last minute.
“We had 24 staff and 100 families, but as the months went on and we could not offer certainty to parents or staff, we lost numbers and income. David from Q came to our rescue and secured a loan, giving us one year’s breathing space.
“We were eventually down to eight children and eight staff. It was heartbreaking as we tried so hard to keep going. We gave the eight staff notice and two weeks later the building we are in came up.”
Julie said it had not all been plain sailing since the move, as investment had to be made to upgrade the new building just as the cost-of-living crisis hit, forcing many parents to cut the number of days their children attended and considerably increasing utility bills.
Despite a very tough year though, the nursery – which is rated outstanding by Ofsted – is now back up to 52 children and 14 staff. “We couldn’t have got this far without the help of David Wells and his team,” said Julie.
Q Financial Services has offices in Telford and Shrewsbury.