Leading tire and auto services company secures £ 500,000 support loan from Ulster Bank
Owned and managed by Norman Kerr, the family business, which was established in 2002, operates 11 tire and automotive service centers, four of which are in the Republic of Ireland and seven in Northern Ireland.
It offers a range of services specializing in tire replacement, puncture repair, automobile maintenance and light mechanical repairs. It is a leading supplier of commercial tires and provides 24 hour emergency roadside assistance to general road users and commercial fleets.
The company, which employs more than 100 people, says the loan will provide essential cash flow relief in light of a significant slowdown in retail and commercial sales.
Managing Director Norman Kerr said: âOver the past two months our business has experienced a significant decline. On the retail side, the activity is down by around 75% and although we have diversified in recent years to develop the commercial part of the business, it has also suffered a decline of almost 40%. .
âA critical piece of the puzzle was business forecasting to understand what our needs are today and how those needs might change in the future. With the support of our accountants Agnew, Mitchell & Cairns, the Ulster Bank team was able to quickly process our loan request.
âWe have worked closely with Ulster Bank and our relationship manager, Ryan Mawhinney, over the past few years and during that time the team provided the financing facilities to allow us to grow the business. Their responsiveness and proactivity throughout the process of granting this loan will prove essential to sustain this success as we go through the weeks and months to come. “
Girvan Gault, Director, Commercial Banking NI at Ulster Bank, explained: âNorman and the team at Kerr’s Tires & Auto are working tirelessly to provide their essential services to other essential businesses that continue to operate today. It is an essential part of this chain that we are very happy to be able to support at this time.
Kerr’s Tires & Auto provides services to many essential businesses, including delivery vehicles for some of Northern Ireland’s largest supermarket chains such as Tesco, Asda and Sainsburys.
Ryan Mawhinney, Senior Relationship Manager, Commercial Banking NI at Ulster Bank, added: âWith fewer commuters on our roads due to lockdown measures imposed in light of the coronavirus crisis, demand for tire services and automobiles has been significantly affected. Norman has shown great preparation in diversifying and adapting the way his business operates so that it can continue to operate. This support program will play an important role in helping what is a valued service provider and employer rebound. “
Kerr’s Tires & Auto also serves many courier vehicles, part of the business, according to Norman, has seen a 100% increase.
âMost of us are at home, so we find that couriers are working longer hours to process a higher volume of home deliveries. We have adjusted the way we operate to ensure that we can continue to provide essential vehicle maintenance services to these companies in a safe manner. “
He says workplace social distancing measures and a new night shift allow efficient maintenance of essential vehicles working on food and parcel delivery, and the company has increased its mobile work capacity to avoid pedestrians in its centers.
More information on the full range of support measures Ulster Bank provides to professional clients can be found on the Ulster Bank Business Hub.
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