Citrus secures £200,000 Covid loan

Nelson-based Citrus Office Group has secured a £200,000 loan to support its diversification and growth plans.

It has been a dramatic period for the company, which began when owner Gordon Profit caught Covid-19 and spent seven days in intensive care. Shortly afterwards, the government introduced lockdown measures which meant a reduction in both the supply of and demand for its core workplace products.

Citrus began delivering direct to workers’ homes, re-organising logistics, introducing a new PPE and sanitiser range and seeking out other new products and suppliers.

While many workplaces have reopened, Citrus continues to diversify including the launch of its own branded workwear range.

Gordon, who acquired the business in 2008, said: "The past few months have been a huge challenge. We’ve not only had to deal with a drop in revenue, but also disruptions to supplies and logistics.

"However we are now in a much stronger position and recognise that changes of this type also bring opportunities – for example to make acquisitions or win new clients as companies seek more competitive suppliers. The funding will give us a breathing space to take stock, explore new possibilities  and put our plans into action." 

The finance has been provided by NPIF – Mercia Debt Finance, which is managed by Mercia and is part of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund, and is backed by the government's Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS).

Pete Sorsby, investment director at Mercia, added: "Citrus had been growing strongly in the period before the pandemic. Gordon and the team have shown real entrepreneurial flair in adapting to the new business landscape. This funding will provide additional working capital to help the business adjust and take advantage of expansion opportunities the changes have created."

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