Alstons Furniture – A Brief History

The Alston family has been involved with furniture for over two centuries. As far back as 1776 there were Alstons repairing furniture in their Chelsea workshop.The present family’s direct ancestors started the business that became the Alstons Furniture business we know today in Sudbury, Suffolk. William Alston (1839-1919) and his brother Ambrose (1834 – 1902) were both master cabinet makers during the middle of the 19th century. William Alston later became a furniture dealer as well, selling from premises in 95 North Street, Sudbury. The Alstons Furniture business prospered and moved to 9 Old Market Place, Sudbury in 1875 Both of William Alston’s sons, Hammond and Percy worked in the business and together they then created one of the first all electric workshops.The premises at Old Market Place became a retail furniture shop as well, with additional workshops. One of which was to eventually form the beginnings of the Alstons Furniture Upholstery operation much later on. In 1921 Percy Alston’s son Leslie started an apprenticeship with his father and then completed this at Fisher Trade Woodworking in London’s East End.In 1937 Leslie started his own manufacturing business at a redundant coconut matting factory in Long Melford. The business was set up with a £6,000 bank loan. Leslie’s brother Roy joined him there to help run the new venture. The company later adopted the trade mark Albro as an abbreviation of Alston brothers, this continued into the 1980′s.During the Second World War, the factory in Long Melford switched its production to ‘utility’ bedroom and dining furniture. Extra work was also taken on to manufacture coffins for the war effort.Later in the war, the Long Melford factory was burnt out and new premises were sought in Ipswich. Initially production was resumed within Wrinch’s factory in Nacton Road, Ipswich. Land was also purchased adjacent to Wrinch’s and a factory was built by joining war surplus Nissen huts together to form a linear building and a continuous furniture production line was created within it. This temporary structure survived until 1971 when a new building was erected over the old huts ensuring that not an hour of production was lost.The Alstons Furniture cabinet business has remained at this site to this day. During this time a new head office had been built and a programme of continuous investment in machinery maintained. Alstons Furniture has manufactured almost exclusively bedroom furniture during this period. In the 1950′s and 60′s this was centered on suites of bedroom furniture of veneered teak, walnut and mahogany finish (a suite comprised a ladies wardrobe, a gents wardrobe and a dressing table). The 1970′s saw the introduction of modular bedroom furniture ranges in veneered and painted finishes.In more recent years the Alstons have become a market leader in the production of traditional and contemporary bedroom ranges of laminate and painted finish.Leslie Alston remained in charge of the business until his death in 1976 at which point his oldest son Rex (John) took over as Managing Director with Leslie’s brother Percy (Roy) as Chairman. In 1979 Alan, Leslie’s other son became Chairman and Managing Director of Alstons Furniture, assisted by his bother Rex and with their cousin Noel (Percy’s son) as Sales Director. John P Alston joined the family business, Alstons Furniture, in 1974 becoming a Director in 1987 and Managing Director in 1995. In 2008 David Alston became Chairman of Alstons Furniture, taking on this role directly from his father. Also in this year John’s daughter Jessica Alston joined Alstons Furniture as a design assistant.The Upholstery business flourished and within 10 years, further satellite factories were opened in Hadleigh, Suffolk and Clacton, Essex.The recession of the early 1980′s saw a contraction of Alstons Furniture and the satellite factories were closed down and production and investment consolidated at the Colchester site. Up until 1995 Alan Alston continued to be responsible for the running of Alstons Furniture. In 1995 David Alston, Alan’s youngest son became Managing Director of the company and the responsibility passed on.In 2008 John Alston took on the role of chairman of Alstons Furniture from his father.During the life of the company it has manufactured sofas, sofa beds, sideboards, chairs and recliner chairs.Alstons Furniture continues to make all its production from its factory in Colchester and is now one of the leading producers of upholstery in the UK.

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How A Business Loan Helps Business People

Overview:
Becoming a self-employed businessman is a great reputation in the society but the problems faced by the entrepreneurs from the day one of their business is enormous. It is a great challenge for a person to overcome all obstacles to become a successful businessman. The numerous problem faced by all is finance. Even great entrepreneurs of various industries have struggled a lot of financial crisis for setting up their business and to run their daily business operations. Thus finance plays a major role in the life of business people. Great ideas require the necessary financial support to bloom into a successful business.Introduction:
There are various sources for business people to raise capital for their business. The most trusted source is from banks. There are various reasons why people choose banks as the best source for raising capital for their business. Banks provide a lower cost of funds in the form of Business Loans. There are various types of business loans at differential interest rates to facilitate business people to solve their financial crises.Types of Business Loans:
Businesses are of different types and need finance at different stages of their business operations. The need also being different, banks help them in providing different types of business loans helping various small and medium enterprises to raise capital.New Project Loan – Banks are interested in funding for new businesses and also for new projects of existing business. There are various criteria for getting new project loan and differs from bank to bank. Project loans are approved against the collateral of the person like residential property, commercial property or empty land.Top-up on Existing Loans – These loans are issued for expansion, replacement, diversification of an existing business. These loans are approved for short term or long term basis to buy goods, machinery or any fixed assets for the company.Working Capital Loans -These loans are provided for the business to solve sudden financial crises and repaid within short durations. Banks are more interested in providing working capital loans against their inventories, stocks or receivable bills of the company.Secured Business Loan – Business loans in which companies raise their capital against any security for the bank. It may include plot, residential or commercial places, gold, shares, bills, insurance as collateral to get funds for their business. The interest rate is preferably less.Unsecured Business Loan – Every businessman cannot afford to pledge a security in getting the business loan, so bankers help them with loans without any security based on bank transactions and income tax returns. These loans are charged with more interest rates when compared to secured business loans.Requirements of the Banks:
There are various steps and procedures followed by banks to provide funds. The procedure and documents to be submitted to the banks as followsIdentity and address proof of the company – Address proof and identity proof of partnership or proprietor business.Statutory legal registration of the company – Whether the company is legally registered under government norms and have followed all procedures legally in setting business.Financial statement of the company – Every bank is interested in seeing the recent 1-year business transaction of the company.Income tax returns – ITR helps the bankers to check the business performance, efficiency level, assets and liabilities of the company and also tax that company pays from their current earnings. This also plays a major role in deciding the loan amount for the business people.Financial Security – It includes the fixed and movable assets of the company which helps the banker to consider providing business loans based on the asset value along with the business transactions. This also safeguards banks from the failure of businessmen that fail to repay the loan amount.Previous Loan track – This is a very important factor considered by banks which will help them evaluate the financial condition of the business and also to check on past repayments on loans.Litigation – It will help banks assess the character of businessmen before providing a business loan.Takeaway:
Though business loans are found to be a great source for raising capital, businessmen undergo challenge in getting timely funds from the banks. In order to help them in availing timely loans, even NBFC is also now prepared to help them with funds at various stages of their business. Banks & NBFC have also made the lending process easy, with all verification done in shorter time-span, doorstep assistance in collecting documents etc. Businesses with good cash flows & credit score can avail timely funds with much ease.