COVID-19 has changed our world faster and more profoundly than any other event in recent history. This is also an opportunity to lift eachother up, to support businesses in any way we can and to show how together we can grow resilient.

For this reason, we’ve collected the most relevant resources for businesses in the UK at this time.

Working from home

Notion’s Remote Working Wiki – Probably the most extensive and comprehensive roundup of resources on remote working, the how the what and especially the why.

The working from home guide – tips and advice from Sifted readers on how to navigate working in self-isolation. Some useful nuggets on technology to use, how to interact remotely and why wearing perma-sweatpants is not as awesome as it sounds.

A Guide for Working (From Home) Parents – Tips on how to manage working and caring for children during self-isolation. Emphasises the need for creating structure and finding creative ways to keep the children entertained and learning.

HBR’s tips on effective and engaging virtual meetings – virtual meetings are the new norm, here’s how to make them suck less.

A Guide to Managing Your (Newly) Remote Workers – for companies that have just been forced into creating a remote work policy, it’s sink or swim without any careful or gradual adaptation period. Here is the quick and dirty way to manage the change for your workforce.

Microsoft’s learnings after 2 weeks – includes the 5 main lessons managers at the tech behemoth have learned about how to manage a fully remote workforce, also a link to their internal presentation on best practices can be found at the bottom of the page.

Seth Godin’s manifesto for the future of online interaction – or how to use the experience of one of the best marketers in the world to make your meetings into conversations.

From HBR: 15 questions about remote work, answered

GitLab’s Remote Work Emergency plan – For leaders who are suddenly managing work-from-home teams, there are five things you can focus on right now to maximize stability.

GitLab’s Remote work starter guide for employees: how to adjust to work-from-home – how to create a space that’s both productive and lets you avoid burnout at home.

Slack’s guide to remote working – great pointers from the people who make remote work easier.

Zapier’s guide to remote working – a comprehensive guide from a remote working veteran organisation.

The Center for Disease control’s guidance for companies and employees 

Crisis strategy

From HBR: Building Resilience in the face of a crisis

From HBR: What organizations need to survive a pandemic

Sequoia Capital’s advice for entrepreneurs urges realism and a recognition of the fact that Coronavirus is The Black Swan of 2020

From HBR: How Chinese Companies have responded to Coronavirus

A coronavirus survival strategy for your startup, a realistic situational assessment on Venturebeat by serial entrepreneur Steve Blank.

Business Strategy Through Four Phases Of The Coronavirus Crisis by Stephen Wunker on Forbes.

McKinsey’s situational assessment on Covid 19 and the micro- and macroeconomic implications on a global scale is one the of the most comprehensive analyses to date and leans on McKinsey’s global experience with hundreds of affected businesses.

Fundraising

Tech Nation has compiled a comprehensive list of things to do when fundraising in a lockdown. With contributions from some of the UK’s top VCs, these are the current best practices to keep your business afloat, extend your runway and get funded in these uncertain times.

Our Complete Guide to Startup and Scaleup Funding is still relevant in these times, though more restrictive terms may apply on particular funding methods.

Ask us about funding options

Free apps & tools

A List Of Fintech Firms Providing Free Technology During The Coronavirus Crisis – the most comperehensive list of applications and software in the fintech space that are giving away tools to assist in the crisis.

Zoho is offering its Remotely suite of tools free of charge until July 2020. It includes everything from videoconferencing, to cloud storage and project management collaboration tools.

CreativeLive is streaming a selection of amazing Health and Wellness courses for free, including The 4-Hour Life with Tim Ferriss

Serif is making its Affinity apps on Mac or Windows completely free for three months, with a new 90-day downloadable trial.

This roundup of free apps from Appleinsider has a tonne of great offers ranging from wellness to boredom-busting games for the kids.

Legal matters

CIPD’s Employer Response Guide to Coronavirus – everything you need to do as an employer during the Coronavirus crisis in the UK.

How to apply for a Coronavirus statutory sick pay refund

Newsletters & constantly updated information

Google’s Covid-19 Information Hub covers everything from visualisations of outbreak data to health and pantry staple-based cooking videos.

Corporate Goodwill Efforts During COVID-19 Outbreak
@ScottMonty has created this google doc to document all the magnificent work companies around the world are doing to help in this crisis. Feel free to add to the document if you know any unsung heroes or your company is contributing and not mentioned yet.

NYT’s Coronavirus Briefing Newsletter – An informed guide to the global outbreak, with the latest developments and expert advice about prevention and treatment.

The Next Web’s Coronavirus in Context newsletter – weekly news on the pandemic and the technology that’s trying to stop it.

Vox’s VoxCare Coronavirus newsletter

The oft-crashing, but highly relevant Coronavirus Tech Handbook, a Google Docs based collaboration tool for technologists, has an almost endless list of tools and tricks and is an open (literally) invitation to trying to solve the coming problems through technology, together.

Andreesen Horrowitz’s a16z Collection of Coronavirus Resources & Readings is probably the single best source of data points about the macro-impact of Covid-19 on the global markets, supply chain and technology sector and a features an amazing curated list of twitter accounts to follow on the science and global context of the outbreak.

The already famous Coronavirus COVID-19 Global Cases by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University (JHU)

Resources for companies working on COVID-19

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Wellcome, and Mastercard Launch Initiative to Speed Development and Access to Therapies for COVID-19

Sam Altman of Y Combinator fame has announced in a blog post that he is looking to fund companies trying to solve problems related to COVID-19 either from the perspective of solving the engineering challenge of shortages or the therapeutic challenge of vaccines.

The Founder Institute’s Public Health Startup Fellowship Programme

The European Commission is allocating a budget of over 160 million Euros to startups and SMEs with innovative solutions to tackle the Coronavirus outbreak

UK Government resources

The UK Government has committed an unprecedented amount of resources to support SMEs during the crisis.

The main support mechanisms all UK companies are eligible for:

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme: The government commits to paying 80% of workers’ wages up to a value of £2,500 a month for workers who would otherwise lose their jobs due to financial distress caused by the virus.

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme: This Scheme supports SMEs with access to working capital (ranging from loans, overdrafts, invoice finance to asset finance) up to £5 million for a term of up to 6 years.

The first 12 months of interest will be covered by the government including any extra fees from lenders. This way, SMEs do not need to take on the burden of any upfront costs. Additionally, the government will guarantee lenders up to 80% of the loan value to support and stimulate debt funding for small and medium sized business. To apply, check the British Business Bank’s website to see qualified lenders.

Deferred VAT and Income Tax payments: VAT payments are deferred for 3 months. VAT refunds are still to be paid by the government. Income tax is deferred until 2021 for the self-employed and HMRC have expanded capacity on their Time to Pay offer to cover all companies and individuals who have tax liabilities and are in financial distress as a consequence of Covid-19.

Support for Sick Pay: Companies will be able to reclaim Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) paid for sick leave due to the virus. Companies with less than 250 employees will be eligible to receive compensation for up to 2 weeks of SSP per employee.

Business rates holiday for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses: Companies in these sectors will have their council tax bills reasessed and reduced. To find out how large the reduction is for your business, check out the business rates calculator

Cash grants for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses: Businesses are eligible to receive grants between £10,000 to £25,000 per property. No application needed, your local authority will notify you if you are eligible for this grant.

Sifted’s Guide to Government Support in Europe offers a good summary of available support for companies with offshoots in other European countries.

Support from our partners

ABGi UK is offering free advice and support on R&D tax relief claims to companies investigating ways of combatting the coronavirus to meet the nation’s current healthcare needs. For some manufacturers, adapting production processes will require some initial R&D expenditure. To help support this activity, ABGI will offer its services completely free of charge to ensure those making this investment to help tackle the current public health crisis can also secure maximum qualifying tax relief from the process. his includes providing free consultancy on incentives available to make the switch, reviewing a manufacturer’s activity plan to ensure it will qualify for R&D tax relief, and developing and submitting their claim to HMRC.

Seedlegals Coronavirus Working from Home Policy – Seedlegals has made this service available free of charge. Simply sign up and create your own custom WFH policy on their platform.

Grant Thornton’s Pandemic Risk Assessment Tool – A data driven assessment that quantitatively determines risk factors and offers focused resiliency plans to protect your business, customers, and shareholders.

We hope this resource list is useful and you find value in it for your business.

If you’re curious about R&D finance or startup and government funding more generally, feel free to contact us at Fundsquire. We’re always happy to help if we can or at least point you in a useful direction.

If you have any other useful resources for SMEs during this crisis, please feel free to drop them in the comments. We will update this list as things progress.

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