Miniple Polka Dot Travel has secured a loan of £1.2 million to protect the business from the impact of Covid-19.

The travel agency chain, which employs almost 100 staff across its branches in the north west, north Wales and West Midlands, obtained the loan from Barclays bank under the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) loan scheme with help from accountancy firm Sedulo.

The company furloughed 75% of its workforce through the government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, received funds from the Retail and Hospitality Grant Scheme, and deferred rental payments to help its business cope.

Despite this, the company continued to struggle with the impact of the pandemic and applied for a loan through CBILS to improve cash flow.

Polka Dot managing director Mark Johnson said: “The Covid-19 pandemic has been the toughest and most difficult challenge that I have ever faced in business.”

Sedulo’s head of high growth Stuart Dutton, who has worked with the agency as its non-executive finance director for 18 months, said the agency had responded quickly to mitigate the consequences of the pandemic and improved their digital offering to maintain growth for the business. He added: “They will come out of this with confidence for the future.”