The challenge.

The Red Sock Launderette owner Rebecca Reid employs 13 staff members, who either work in the Grantown High Street launderette or the company’s cleaning service. When lockdown happened in March, Rebecca was forced to close. The company has been in existence since 2007 and moved into the new premises just over eight years ago.

The business caters for tourists and residents, and has contracts with self-catering accommodation, flats, tourist destinations, manufacturing establishments and NHS premises as well as domestic cleaning for older people.

After following social distancing guidelines, Rebecca was able to open the launderette on restricted hours as the business was considered essential, but the tourists left and the locals stayed home.

Rebecca has been working with Goldwells for over five years, after a recommendation from the Highlands and Islands Enterprise Ltd.

The response.

Nick Willetts, Goldwells’ office manager in Inverness was able to help Rebecca quickly organise documentation and accounts which allowed her to apply for grants.

Rebecca says: “The Government furlough scheme was essential. When it was announced that we should stay home, we all did so. Launderettes were allowed to stay open, but we didn’t have enough custom to warrant paying all our staff, so we made the decision to furlough almost all employees.

“As soon as we realised we would have to close, we tried to decide how to keep our business going. The first weekend was incredibly stressful where we worked day and night updating our website, contacting customers and also looking into the various financial support options available.

“Some of the support required us to submit applications within days, accompanied by historical business accounts and cashflow. Thankfully, Nick at Goldwells was able to get that organised for us in record time, which definitely played a role in our success in securing support and helped to reduce our stress levels.

“Certain applications ask or a lot of information about the financial position of the business and I wouldn’t have been able to do that without Nick’s support.

“We received the £10,000 small business grant, which sounds a lot, but will soon run out. We are waiting to see what other loans and grants are available as we plan to open fully in July but in a different way.

“The pandemic has been extremely challenging for everyone, but, thanks to local experts like Goldwells, the Red Sock Launderette, along with the rest of the local business community, is determined to come back and face the new world.”

Photo: Stewart Grant: The Studio in the Square, Grantown-on-Spey.