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Restaurant group looking beyond lockdown with bounce back loan

A Yorkshire restaurant operator is safeguarding jobs and looking to the future with the support of a six-figure Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS) loan from Lloyds Bank.

Jinnah Group runs eight restaurants across North and West Yorkshire, seven under the group name and also The Viceroy of India in York. It also owns one retail outlet – United Cash & Carry.

The company closed its doors in accordance with government guidelines back in March, operating only a takeaway service from its restaurants at weekends and for limited hours at its retail store.

With these reduced earnings not enough to cover staff costs and fixed payments such as rent and utilities, the business looked to Lloyds Bank for support.

The money arrived in less than 24 hours and is enabling the Jinnah Group to continue to meet fixed payments and navigate the ongoing disruption, enabling it to plan for its future post lockdown.

Jinnah Group employs just over 100 full-time staff across the eight restaurants, 95 per cent of whom have been placed on furlough, and a further 65 under its retail arm, of whom around half have been furloughed.

Jinnah Group started off as just a small corner shop in Bradford in 1983, before becoming predominantly a restaurant group in 1991. The business has been a customer of Lloyds Bank for more than 30 years.

Saleem Akhtar, CEO of Jinnah Group, said: “When we had to close our restaurants, it was the lack of clarity that was the most worrying thing – not knowing what was coming next.

“There is still uncertainty, of course, but Lloyds Bank has helped to put us in a position where we can sit tight and wait and see, without constantly fearing for our future. It simplified the process and made things easy to understand and navigate. The Bounce Back Loan means we are not worrying about the here and now and we can now begin to plan for later down the line, whatever that looks like.”

Lee Rycraft, relationship director at Lloyds Bank, said: “Jinnah Group is well-known and loved within the Yorkshire community and, like for so many restaurants, Saleem and the team are facing an unprecedented and extremely challenging time. We’ve been by the side of the business for over

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