Revealed: Notes coffee shop nets £600,000 loan from challenger bank OakNorth to open two new London branches, despite Brexit uncertainty

Hayley Kirton
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The coffee chain is eagerly eyeing expansion plans (Source: Notes' instagram )

Notes has struck a deal for a £600,000 loan to open two further branches in London, including its largest site to date, City A.M. has learnt.

The coffee shop and wine bar chain, which already has six sites dotted around the capital, hopes to push ahead with aggressive growth plans in the near future and the loan it has secured from OakNorth will allow it to do so. In total, Notes is eyeing the opening of a further 14 stores.

The deal is also the first to be completed under the British Business Bank's Help to Grow Programme, which was set up to encourage more lending to the country's small businesses.

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"Between January 2015 and February 2016, Notes grew from two sites to six and we added a central production facility that can cope with up to 14 more sites," said Alan Goulden and Edward Halfon, directors at Notes. "We are a very ambitious company that wants to continue scaling at pace, so we’re delighted that we now have the finance enabling us to do that."

Ben Barbanel, head of debt finance, and Deepesh Thakrar, debt finance director, at OakNorth Bank, added:

We’re delighted to have completed this deal with Notes – not just because it is a fast-growing and ambitious business like ours, but also because it is the first deal we have closed under the Help to Grow scheme.

This is exactly what the programme was set up for and we look forward to working with the British Business Bank to close additional deals in the future.

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Notes is going ahead with its expansion plans despite Brexit uncertainty. By comparison, fellow high street food chain Pret A Manger recently raised concerns it would face skills shortages if it limited its talent pool to British staff only, with its HR manager revealing just one in 50 people applying for jobs at the middle class sandwich shop brand are British.

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