We’re here to support family businesses during this time




We want to hear from you! 

We are hoping to learn more about the way in which family businesses are coping through and managing the coronavirus situation. We’ve seen lots of positive examples and we’d love to know more! 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 is pulling together and working to support one another, their staff, customers and their wider communities. Let’s continue in this way and show each other plenty of #coronakindness!

We are here to support you and your business and we can signpost you to the right help and advice, whether it be guidance for employers on how to manage the coronavirus situation at work or what financial support is available for businesses at this time. 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:

  • Be the Business have pulled together lots of support for business owners and leaders, including a series of three minute videos which share how other business owners have responded to the coronavirus crisis.
  • Cumbria Tourism have put together a useful toolkit that businesses within the leisure and tourism sectors may find particularly helpful. The resource includes information on how to support your staff and your visitors, as well as a new ‘Marketing Toolkit‘. 
  • Advise from Natwest Business on coping with the impact of coronavirus including supply chain, cash flow, dealing with fraudsters & more
  • Barclays also have a support page for customers affected by coronavirus
  • Public Health England – latest guidance on the coronavirus
  • ACAS Coronavirus advice for employers and employees
  • NHS Coronavirus overview for health advice

Government links:


  • Cumbria Fire & Rescue Service have released a guide on Fire Safety for Businesses returning to work during the coronavirus outbreak
  • #AskForHelp is a free helpline available to businesses in Lancashire impacted by coronavirus. Run by Lancashire’s Business Growth Hub, it’s designed to support businesses through and recover from the current crisis. Issues such as building resilience, cash flow management, HR, Tax and remote working can all be discussed. 
  • The North East Growth Hub are offering North East based businesses one to one support appointments for COVID-19, as part of their COVID-19 support toolkit.
  • The Building Business Resilience Programme is a support package available to businesses across the East Midlands which has been established by the East Midlands Growth Hubs. They are offering FREE one to one and small group online support appointments focusing on the COVID-19 crisis.
  • A Home Schooling Blog from MyTutor ‘Home-Schooling during COVID-19 How one Family is Doing It‘ –  with useful tips and ideas for parents homeschooling their children during the COVID-19 lockdown.
  • #SupportFamilyBusiness is our nationwide social media campaign to support family firms through the coronavirus pandemic. FBU, IFB & ourselves have created a simple online directory of family firms who are selling online and delivering through the coronavirus pandemic. Email us at team@fambiznet.co.uk if you’d like a FREE listing.
  • 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


  •  Virtual College are offering a FREE online 30 minute Health and Social Care course called ‘Prevent COVID-19’, where you learn information on the virus and best practice procedures for businesses… click here for Course link

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:  The Government have announced an extension of their Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, which will now remain open until the end of October. Further information on this announcement can be found here

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 . You can also listen to a Q&A on ‘Furlough’ with Joanne Stronach – Head of HR and Employment at Cartmell Shepherd, recorded on Lake District Radio on 20/04/20.

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.

  • MANAGING CORONAVIRUS AT WORK: The Government has published guidance for employers to help them get their businesses back up and running and workplaces operating safely.  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 how to prepare your organisation for home-working and 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: The Chancellor has announced a new loans measure for SME’s, known as the Bounce Back Loans Scheme (BBLS), which will allow SME’s to borrow up to 25 per cent of their turnover, up to a maximum of £50,000. The loan will be available from 4 May. Guidance on the scheme can be found here.

CBILS: The British Bank’s Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) will temporarily replace the Enterprise Finance Guarantee as announced in the Chancellors budget. 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)

Small Business Grants: Salesforce is partnering with Enterprise Nation to offer eligible small businesses the opportunity to receive a £5,000 grant to help them through the COVID-19 outbreak. Click here for more info


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.

RISK LIMITATION – ‘Six Steps that business owners can take to limit the risk of coronavirus on their operations’  – David Tew, a Dispute Resolution Solicitor from legal experts, Cartmell Shepherd has complied a video and accompanying article ‘Six Steps that business owners can take to limit the risk of coronavirus on their operations‘ which offers some worthwhile suggestions on positive actions that all business owners can take to help them take control of the situation.



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