Despite a busy day, both Ross and the Chancellor were able to fit in a trip to chat with the team at Swift Cycles, one of the many small businesses RBS supports.
Swift Cycles, based in Spitalfields, has been an RBS customer for two years, selling a range of bicycles including Cannondale, Scott, Focus and Cervelo bikes, as well as providing cycling accessories and clothing. What makes the team at Swift really unique is that they specialise in providing a highly professional bike-fitting service. This makes sure that every bike is made to fit each customers exact measurements, and uses the same systems as Team Sky, and British Cycling.
After a short walk through Spitalfields Market, Ross and the Chancellor were met at the door of the business by Jon Reed, the owner of Swift Cycles. A keen cyclist himself, Ross chatted to Jon about the different bikes on the shop floor, and was particularly taken by one of the British Bikes named Enigma.
Swift Cycles began banking with NatWest in June 2010, and the shop visited today was opened in December 2011. It was in fact through an Enterprise Finance Guarantee (EFG) loan, provided by RBS, that Jon was able to purchase the property on Strype Street. The Chancellor was interested in hearing about the loan and how RBS and NatWest had helped the team at Swift Cycles turn their business into a profit-making one, especially in such a competitive market.
Kristian Canham, Senior Relationship Manager in Retail & Wholesale London Sector business was on site, and explained to Ross and the Chancellor the kind of specialist support the bank has been able to provide. From introducing Jon and the team to key contacts who help with the running of the business, providing general advice, and even helping choose the shop location, the RBS team have made a real difference.
Over a cup of tea, Ross and the Chancellor listened as Jon explained he was beginning to consider the next steps for his business, and possible expansion for Swift Cycles - something both Ross and the Chancellor were happy to hear.