We’re here to support family businesses during this time





We want to hear from you! 

We’d like to hear more about the way in which family businesses are coping through the pandemic.  Our aim is to take key learnings from your stories to help other family businesses.  Please contact us via email initially so we can then arrange a friendly chat.

In these fast-moving and unprecedented times, family businesses are inevitably facing some challenges.

We’ve been heartened to see the countless examples of ways in which the family business community has pulled together over the past 12 months and worked to support one another, staff, customers and wider communities. 

We continue to offer our support to you and your business and we can signpost you to the right help and advice. No question is too small or silly! We have also collated some resources and guidance documents on this page which you may find helpful.

If there are other ways in which we can help or you have any ideas or advice for other family businesses that you’d like us to share, please get in touch via our contact page.


Useful links:


Government links:

  • The Government have published their Covid-19 Response Plan for Spring 2021 which outlines the Roadmap, Healthcare response and social and economic support. Access a copy here.
  • The Government published ‘OUR PLAN TO REBUILD’ its COVID-19 recovery strategy  in May where it sets out a plan to ‘return life to as close to normal as possible, for as many people as possible, as fast and fairly as possible, in a way that is safe and continues to protect our NHS’
  • Coronavirus Business Financial Support home page with links to all the different financial schemes and support options available
  • Government guidance for employers, employees and business home page
  • Government Business Support Helpline page


  • Mental Health and Wellbeing:  Click here to read a leaflet by Every Life Matters on looking after your own and others wellbeing and mental health during Covid-19. It contains tips for managing anxiety, how to support young people, working from home and how to see the signs that someone is struggling.
We spoke to Ramin Salehi – Chairman of Mental Health charity, Well Minds and MD of Cornerstone Training about mental health awareness and self-care during this lockdown period. He produced a short film for us where he talks about the four core issues for each of us as individuals, those around us and our businesses. For further help on any of the issues raised in this short film, contact us at team@fambiznet.co.uk or Ramin via ramin@cornerstonetraining.co.uk
  • Mental Wellbeing in the Workplace:  We have also been working with Ramin of Cornerstone Training (see the video above) to come up with a ‘Mental Health Support Package for Employers’, which offers a way for businesses to provide mental health care for their people. Click here to read more/ see details of the package…https://bit.ly/2XjHLsS

Our coronavirus response ” – Playdale

Hear about how South Lakes family business, Playdale have responded to the coronavirus crisis from MD, Barry Leahey MBE (recorded 2/4/20) and how they have successfully applied for funding through the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS)

“Putting recession learning into practice ” – Bluebell Fitted Furniture

Hear what steps South Manchester based family business, Bluebell Fitted Furniture have taken to manage the Coronavirus crisis from MD, Mike Reuben (recorded by Be The Business for their Coronavirus Business Support)


Guidance for Employers

  • FURLOUGH: Government Full Guidance page on the furlough scheme can be found here and the Step by Step Guide to Claiming  notes here. These document clarify and offer additional information on how to claim, minimum furlough periods, who can be furloughed and bringing staff on and off furlough.

A Summary of the Governments Furlough scheme with some helpful FAQ’s has been prepared by legal firm, Cartmell Shepherd and can be found here… ‘A summary of the UK Governments policy on ‘furlough’- the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme .

  • RETURN TO WORK, MANAGING CORONAVIRUS: The Government has published guidance for employers to support them in safely re-opening their businesses after the latest lockdown.  The guidance includes practical guidelines, recommended process documents and display notices for different sectors . Read the ‘Working safely during coronavirus’ guides


  • CYBER SECURITY GUIDANCE: The National Cyber Security Centre has released guidance for employers on safe home-working and protecting against coronavirus scams.


  • MANAGING PENSION SCHEMES: Read about the implications of COVID-19 for family businesses which have a final salary pension scheme from Western Pensions. They also have a FREE HELPLINE for family businesses with such a scheme to get help and advice on 020 7726 2718.


Support for Businesses


Cumbria Chamber of Commerce and accountants, Lamont Pridmore have produced a BUSINESS SURVIVAL TOOLKIT to help businesses cope through and mitigate the impacts of the Coronavirus crisis. It includes advice on interpreting the government guidelines, how to maximise government support, other income opportunities, how to manage cash flow, how to manage staffing, consideration of assets and resources and disaster recovery planning. Follow this link…>  Coronavirus Business Survival Toolit 28.04.20

RETURNING TO WORK CHECKLIST – Cartmell Shephered have compiled ‘Planning for the Future: A practical checklist to help SMEs prepare for returning to work post lockdown’ covering a range of topics designed to help prepare you to restart your business after lockdown, including considerations around operations, finance, resourcing, people and marketing.


BBLS: Updates on the Bounce Back Loans Scheme (BBLS) which is available to SME’s until 31 March 2021 can be found here.

CBILS: Access details on the British Bank’s Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) which has been extended until 31 March 2021. Support for family businesses based in Cumbria, North Lancashire and the Yorkshire Dales will be available locally from our network partner, Enterprise Answers who are one of the accredited partners of this new scheme. Contact them directly to enquire about an application.

Read the story of how one family business, The Toy Shop in Cockermouth successfully secured a CBILS loan in just 4 days through Enterprise Answers

(Pictured above: Jonty Chippendale of The Toy Shop in Cockermouth who received their CBILS loan in April)



RIGHTS OF EMPLOYEES: The following article ‘Guidance for Employers in relation to rights of employees and the options available during the current time‘ from Gorvins Solicitors covers different employee circumstances including where employees have children and their schools close.


Why Covid shouldn’t delay succession planning for your business‘ from Sam Lyon, Head of Corporate and Commercial at Cartmell Shepherd Solicitors 

‘Five Key Things Family Businesses should do in February’ from Sam Lyon, Head of Corporate and Commercial at Cartmell Shepherd Solicitors 




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