Schoolwear Association Mailer – 3 April 2020

In such unusual and challenging times, the Schoolwear Association is looking to support members in as many ways as possible. In the first of these mailers, we wanted to share some of the outstanding work SA members are carrying out and pass on tips to support the wider community.

A message from the Schoolwear Association

Firstly, on behalf of the Schoolwear Association we hope that you, your friends, family and colleagues are keeping safe and well at this difficult time. It is encouraging to see communities and industries pulling together and some of the inspiring work SA members are doing is testament to this united spirit.

During these unprecedented times is vital that people stay safe and follow Government guidelines. It is undoubtedly a challenging period for all industries and it is also important to plan for what your business is going to need in order to continue to operate in the short and medium term.

Additional support is available through Government backed loans to assist while sales are halted. The government job retention scheme may also be considered to save money in the short term while keeping employees in place for when business activity restarts.

As an Association, we are planning a weekly communication with members over the coming weeks and months to ensure that the industry is connected and is updated with relevant information as far as possible.

Matthew Easter and Mark Stevenson, co-chairs, The Schoolwear Association

Just Schoolwear

With the NHS doing an awe-inspiring job under huge demand, Just Schoolwear has put its currently unused embroidery facilities to good use, supplying embroidered uniform to NHS staff on the front line free of charge. An amazing initiative!

COVID-19 Business Interruption Loan Scheme

Many SA members may be eligible for the new COVID-19 Business Interruption Loan Scheme and we encourage everyone to consider this option to help ensure that we can continue to support each other in the coming weeks and months. Some tips about how to complete an application are below:

You will need to:

  • Explain how the virus has affected your business
  • Explain what steps you have taken to safeguard your business (reduced hours, cut costs, furloughed staff etc)
  • Explain what other forms of Government help you have applied for or not been able to apply for.
  • Provide at least 12 month forecasts showing the impact on your business that takes into account the other measures take such as VAT deferments, loan and asset finance payment holidays, rent breaks, employee retention scheme help etc.
  • Up to date management figures to show how your business was trading.

Women in Uniform – North, started last year by Marie Bradburn to encourage women who own their own schoolwear businesses to share their ideas and experiences, have shared their top tips for retailers to respond to the current crisis.

  1. Obtain as much financial aid from Government that is available to their business.
  2. Keep talking to each other and share experiences.
  3. Talk to your landlords for a rental holiday.
  4. Talk to your suppliers regarding deliveries.
  5. Join a local Business Networking group – shares services and experiences.

The group is sponsored by William Turner, Falcon Sportswear, David Luke and Rowlinson. It currently has 13 members including one currently under lockdown in Milan in Northern Italy and is always looking for more members to join.

And finally…

Well done to Buddy, Buzz and Beau, sons of Gray’s Schoolwear’s Antonia Ellison, who have created their Home Cool brand after schools closed their doors to the majority of children last week. The sweatshirts and aprons (supplied by William Turner) have created a social media storm and are available online here.

We are always looking for more stories about what SA members are doing during these difficult times. If you have any experiences or tips to share, please email [email protected]