According to its online reviews, Tamworth’s Tuckerbox has the best fish and chips in town, and principal Amy McLeod is equally impressed with the financial support she’s receiving from OnDeck.
Around four years ago, Amy decided to give up her successful career in law to take over as the principal at Tuckerbox, best known for its wide-ranging menu. “Apart from fish and chips, we have a huge turnover in sandwiches and offer an eat-in cafe.”
The impact of COVID on cash flow
When Amy assumed the reins at the successful seven days a week business it was debt-free. After transitioning from professional services to a small business, Amy was flying. Then COVID struck. “The business had an extremely healthy five-figure turnover every month, and it was debt-free for two years before COVID.
“However, business initially dried right up when we went into lockdowns. While we didn’t go into significant debt, we had an ATO repayment plan.”
To stay afloat, Tuckerbox pivoted into home deliveries. “However, once restrictions lifted, we ended home deliveries,” Amy said. There were several reasons Tuckerbox cancelled its home delivery services. Amy explains, “The drivers weren’t great, and the online delivery fees gouged up to 20% from each sale. It wasn’t financially viable for my customers, who pay a delivery fee, or for me.”
As COVID gripped, Amy decided to seek finance from OnDeck for several reasons. “I wanted to make sure I had enough cash in the business, so I Googled small business lenders.”
This search included one of the Big 4 banks whom Amy had banked with for 35 years. “However, the bank’s processes were cumbersome,” she complained.
The determined business owner found OnDeck on social media, made contact, and chatted with Loan Specialist Susannah Nist. “OnDeck sent me an email, and I uploaded some bank statements, and we had the money very fast after the approval.”
Amy believes it also helped smooth the process that Susannah also hails from Tamworth. “She was brilliant, and even when we redid the loan earlier this year, she was brilliant. Susannah has a brain for small business.
“For example, sales were down early this year because we didn’t have the Tamworth Country Music Festival in January that attracts tens of thousands of people to the town. Being from Tamworth, Susannah instantly understood the impact of the festival’s postponement on our cash flow and got the new loan moving.”
“Susannah is just awesome. It is always such a pleasure to deal directly with her. Her efficiency and professionalism are exceptional.”
Overall, Amy sums up OnDeck as “being easy to deal with.”
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