Coronavirus / COVID-19 Funding & Finance

There’s no doubt everyone is finding the Coronavirus Lockdown tough (including me) but I hope that you & your loved ones are all keeping safe & well. If any of you are unwell & still reading this, I really hope you make a speedy recovery & get well soon!

Right now, your number one concern is probably a financial one so I’ve pulled together a short list of useful resources that you might not be aware of below…

Funding & Finance resources

Local Council Grants
Each of the 7 North East councils have dedicated pages on their website where you can find out what support is available, including grants of between £10,000-£25,000. However, please note that only certain types of business are eligible (primarily those that pay business rates on a physical office or retail unit).

Click / tap on your relevant local council website below:

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS)
Gateshead-based Transmit Startups is a delivery partner for British Business Bank accredited lender AskIf, which means they’re able to access the Government’s Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS). This is a loan guarantee scheme run by the Government, not a loan fund in itself. For full details on the scheme & a list of lenders, visit the UK Government’s British Business Bank website.

Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS)
The Bounce Back Loan Scheme provides financial support to businesses across the UK that are losing revenue & seeing their cashflow disrupted as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak & that can benefit from £50,000 or less in finance.

Lenders can provide a 6 year term loan from £2,000 up to 25% of a business’ turnover with a maximum loan amount of £50,000. The scheme gives the lender a full (100%) government-backed guarantee against the outstanding balance of the facility (both capital & interest).

BBLS is available through a range of British Business Bank accredited lenders & partners which are all listed on the British Business Bank website.

NBSL North East Business Support Fund
You could access up to 40% grant funding for business improvement projects costing between £2,500-£8,000. You can use the grant for almost any type of external support that will help your business to grow – from marketing & web design to financial or HR planning. Find out more.

Coronavirus Response Fund (for charities & community groups)
The Northumbria Police & Crime Commissioner, Kim McGuinness, is bringing forward her annual £200,000 community fund to provide grants of up to £5k for charities & community groups in the Northumberland or Tyne & Wear areas to continue their work. Find out more & apply here.

GX Grant Funding
This funding is designed for local SMEs with a project to develop a new product or service. Grants available are from £1,000 to £3,000 but need to be match funded (60%) by you. (For example, if you have a total project cost of £2,500 you can apply for a £1,000 grant but you will have to pay the other £1,500). Read more.

Innovation SuperNetwork Grant Funding
Similar to the GX Fund, Innovation SuperNetwork have grants available for between £1,000 to £5,000 for new products or services but these need to be match funded (50%) by you & the money should be used to pay for external expertise, consultancy & specialist advice. Find out more.

Rescue Equity Funding for Startups by Capital Pilot 
If you were looking to raise equity investment before the Coronavirus outbreak & things have ground to a halt, or you are planning to raise investment soon, you could increase your chance of success by using Capital Pilot’s ‘Investability Rating’ service. Using a unique combination of human intelligence & data science, you can get an in-depth analysis & scoring across 4 categories & 41 data points within 7 days which can then be shared with their network of investors across the UK.

You can register your business on the Capital Pilot platform for free here. Then, if you want to receive the ‘Investability Rating’ it’s just £150 (+ VAT).

Crowdfunding with Crowdcube
If you’re looking to raise investment for your business, you might want to consider crowdfunding with Crowdcube, especially if you’re a female-led business. Sadly, all the data shows that female-led businesses are often consciously or unconsciously biased against by investors yet research published in December shows that Crowdcube funds more female founders than any other investment type.

Whatever gender you are you can apply online anytime here. or as a referral partner we can help fast-track your application. Just email paul@newcastlestartupweek.com with the following information & we’ll get the Crowdcube team to contact you:

  • Your first name & last name
  • Your email address
  • Your company name
  • Your company website
  • Level of funding (sub-£250k, £250k-£500k or £500k+)

Crowdfund North East LEP (COVID-19 impact support fund for small businesses)
This fund provides support to businesses, charities, social enterprises & sole traders seeking to cope with challenging trading conditions as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The North East LEP has partnered with Crowdfunder to launch a matchfund grant that ensures the small business sector is supported quickly during this time of crisis. There is a maximum pledge of up to £5,000 per small business, contributing up to 50% towards the total target.

Find out more & start your Crowdfunder campaign here.

Other things you might find helpful

Get organised
Whether it’s for business or your personal life, if you like making To Do Lists then you might enjoy using Trello. Although primarily aimed at businesses or teams, Trello can be used for any project or everyday tasks (including household jobs or family activities). I’ve been using Trello for the past few years to help organise our Newcastle Startup Week festival plus other projects I’m working on all year around. I just use the free version which you can sign up for here.

Cope with massive change
I had a tough 2nd half of 2019 as I struggled to come to terms with some major problems in my personal life which I’ll not go into detail here. I’m fortunate to have some amazing people around me who were willing & patient enough to listen to me talk things through which is something I’ve not been good at in the past. In addition to talking, doing more exercise, eating better & sleeping more, two books that have had a massive positive impact on me are ‘Infinite Possibilities‘ by Mike Dooley & ‘How To Think Like a Roman Emperor: The Stoic Philosophy of Marcus Aurelius‘ by Donald Robertson (which I listened to as an Audible book in February thanks to the recommendation by my brilliant friend Katie Stidolph aka #The_Savvy_Stoic).

Be optimistic
Optimism is different from blind positivity. And optimism is not naive either. I saw this short video from Simon Sinek this week & found it very helpful. I hope you will too.

Simon Sinek

I hope this helps! Feel free to Tweet me with any questions any time,

Paul Lancaster

@lordlancaster
Founder & Event Producer
Newcastle Startup Week


2 thoughts on “Coronavirus / COVID-19 Funding & Finance

  1. Thanks for some tips, I’m self employed and working on adapting to the current situation. Trello could be useful, as I love creating to-do lists.
    Another thing that’s been useful to me is the PopUp Business School. They are doing ‘Business survival guides’ on their facebook channel at the moment, which are helpful to small business owners.

    1. Thanks Kathrin, glad you like the tips, Trello is ace so if you like making To Do Lists & having the satisfaction of seeing things marked off as done via any device, I’d definitely recommend using Trello, especially as it’s free. Thanks also for suggesting the PopUp Business School. I’ve not heard of them before but will check them out!

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