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COVID-19 Business Toolkit

If you are specifically looking for help with finances please click this link: FINANCE HELP

As a small business creation team, we understand the pressures you are facing during these challenging and uncertain times.  Although the government guidance for employees, employers and businesses will remain the authoritative source of guidance for businesses and entrepreneurs (and being constantly updated/expanded based on queries being submitted to government by business groups), there is currently a great deal of other information/help circulating and this can be difficult to navigate and absorb.  So to help, we have collated what we think is a concise ‘Small Business Toolkit’.

This contains resources, guides and information which will be continually updated in the coming weeks — if there’s something you’d find useful and we haven’t provided it or you are offering help yourself then let us know and we can assess and update our network.



Wednesday 17th June, 2pm

1. Redundancy and Recruitment Triage Service  –  how can it help me?

  • Support to employers who may need to make redundancies and want help to transition employees into other work in high growth areas
  • Support to employees sadly made redundant, or at risk of redundancy as a result of Covid-19, to match to new jobs
  • Business HR advice
  • What is the Staffordshire Means Back to Business Start-Up Programme, and how will it help me set up my business?

Sadly, businesses across Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire are having to make tough decisions because of Covid-19, and redundancies are being made. However, gaps in the labour market are appearing in sectors such as health and care, food retail, wholesale, and distribution due to increased demand, so there are job opportunities out there.

This FREE webinar explains how the new Redundancy and Recruitment Triage Service, which has been put together by partners including the county council and the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Enterprise Partnership, can help both employers and employees.



You DO need to register to access the toolkit, but it’s FREE until the current crisis is over.

The Institute of Enterprise Educators are now offering free access to their Small Business Survival Toolkit. Providing guidance, support and online learning on how to keep operating through the current challenges and, as part of their core belief and mission to support micro and SME businesses.


This superb resource provides Employment & Self-Employment Coronavirus Help – Your rights as an employee, self-employed etc.

It clearly explains (with videos) what help the Government are offering who is and isn’t eligible, how to apply and new measures being campaigned for.  Now with 7 constantly updated guides:

Coronavirus employees’ help, incl furloughing rights

Coronavirus self-employed & small ltd co help, incl income scheme – Self-Employment Income Support now LIVE (Wed) – three key tips, incl if you’re turned down.

Coronavirus finance & bills help, incl mortgages, energy & TV

Coronavirus universal credit & benefits, what are you due?

Coronavirus travel rights, incl refunds & insurance

Coronavirus life in lockdown, incl MOTs, food & entertainment

Coronavirus financial FAQs, commonly asked Q&As

 Permanently updated so worth rechecking regularly.


Mind Tools is one of the world’s most popular digital, on-demand career, business and management learning solutions, helping more than 24 million1 people each year.

This fantastic Business Support Pack includes:

  • working from home effectively;
  • best practice in stress/crisis situations;
  • mental health & self care;
  • Strategy, preparedness & mitigation;
  • staying informed – spotting real and fake news;
  • thinking critically & making effective decisions

1 Source: Google Analytics Annual User Count, based on average performance for years 2017 to 2019. Count of users deduped by GA User ID


If you are interested in or in the process of applying for the Small Business Grants Fund (SBGF) and Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund (RHLGF), via Local Authority, this resource may be helpful.

Some of the guidance has recently changed for Local Authorities responsible for giving out these grants and the details are on this link.

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS)


• Personal guarantees cannot be taken for any facilities below £250k
• Insufficient security no longer a condition to access the scheme
• Personal guarantees may be required for facilities above £250k but capped at 20% of the outstanding balance after business asset recoveries
• Lenders to retrospectively apply changes

Launched on 23 March, today (Monday 6th April 2020) CBILS has been significantly expanded along with changes to the scheme’s features and eligibility criteria. The changes mean even more smaller businesses across the UK impacted by the Coronavirus crisis can access funding.  Importantly, access to the scheme has been opened up to those smaller businesses who would have previously met the requirements for a commercial facility but would not have been eligible for CBILS. This significantly increases the number of businesses eligible for the scheme.

About the scheme
The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, delivered through 40+ British Business Bank accredited lenders, is designed to support the continued provision of finance to UK smaller businesses (SMEs) during the Covid-19 outbreak. The scheme enables lenders to provide facilities of up to £5m to smaller businesses across the UK who are experiencing lost or deferred revenues, leading to disruptions to their cashflow.   It supports a wide range of business finance products, including term loans, overdrafts, invoice finance and asset finance facilities.  The CBILS website remains the best source of up to date information.

Where to find other useful Guidance

  • Entrepreneurs can call the BEIS business support helpline or the HMRC Covid-19 helpline.
  • Enterprise Nation is collating private-sector support (e.g. the $100m Facebook small business grants programme), offering support via live chat and running a ‘Pay it Forward‘ fundraising campaign for small businesses with Crowdfunder.
  • Former Number 10 business advisor Jimmy McLoughlin is publishing daily newsletters called ‘Navigating the business of Coronavirus’ featuring the latest government guidance, as well as insight, resources and inspiration.
  • The Prince’s Trust and NatWest have launched an Enterprise Relief Fund to help 18-30-year olds who are self-employed and/or running their own business.
  • Forward Partners has launched ‘Forward Advances‘, a revenue-based finance solution for startups
  • Innovate UK has announced £20m of grant funding for businesses to help build UK resilience
  • Eze Vidra (Reimagine Ventures) has compiled alternative startup job boards from several countries, including a UK list created by David Fogel (ADV)
  • Look here for information on CRAFT business support (Creatives)

What advice is there for a charity?

Use resources such as those from Charity Bank

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