By Ian McConnell

AN INDEPENDENT furniture store in the Scottish Borders has reopened and been able to retain all 26 staff, who had been furloughed under the UK Government scheme, after securing a £200,000 funding package from Royal Bank of Scotland.

Hawick-based family firm Chrysties, which is this month celebrating its 30th birthday, last week welcomed its first customers since March.

The funding, which helped protect jobs and finance the purchase of personal protective equipment needed for reopening, was provided by Royal Bank under the coronavirus business interruption loan scheme.

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Bob Chrystie, founder of Chrysties Furnishing Centre, said: “We’ve always been a bricks and mortar facility – it’s so important for our customers to come and see things in person and you can’t really replicate that online. It was tough to close up for the past few months – it must have been the first time I had a Saturday off in decades.

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“We’re happy to have been able to reopen so quickly. The funding process with Royal Bank of Scotland was seamless, and everything was wrapped up in a matter of days. Their support was vital in helping us to keep local jobs safe, and also helped to fund purchase of PPE equipment we required to resume trading.”

Kenny White, commercial relationship manager at Royal Bank, said: “We’ve been with Chrysties since the very beginning, and it’s been great to help them grow from strength to strength over the years. Here’s to the next 30 years of success.”