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Coronavirus and my business: where do I start?

The best sources of information for small businesses experiencing uncertainty

At a time when the news is ever changing it can be difficult for everyone to know where to go to for clear and honest advice.

Here at Close Brothers, we recognise the need for business owners to be able to quickly understand the support available to them and begin accessing it. A business owner wants to protect their business and focus on the day to day running, rather than the administrative side, but in the current climate, it can be difficult to concentrate on what truly matters.

Close Brothers have therefore highlighted five websites that can offer you insightful and up to date advice on what government support could be available to you and your business.

If you’re looking to find out how the Government can support your business, head to the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB)

The FSB can also help you with:

  • The latest announcements from the UK Government in response to the pandemic
  • Paying tax and how to defer your payments or see advice through the HMRC Time to Pay service
  • What businesses should do if they have employees, such as how to pay staff, your duties as an employer, what to do if employees refuse to work and general measure you can take in the workplace

If you’re looking for information about Sick Pay and how to certify absence from work, go to can also help you with:

  • What to do if your employee needs time off work to look after a relative
  • How you can continue trading internationally and what to do if your supply chains have been affected by COVID-19

If you’re looking for information about how to build a contingency plan for your business, visit the CIPD

The CIPD can also help you with:

  • How to prioritise employee’s health safety and wellbeing at this time, while also reassuring your employees through continual communication
  • How to develop a contingency plan should your supply chain be experiencing disruption, or your employees need to work from home to prevent the spread of infection

If you’re looking for guidance on continuity planning, visit the Institute of Directors

The IOD can also help you with:

  • Guidance on working remotely and the importance of strong mental health and wellbeing in the workplace, as part of its Inclusive Business campaign
  • What the Government’s announcements mean for businesses and the self-employed and how you can start claiming the available support

If you’re looking for resources and webinars to support SMEs, visit The CBI

The CBI can also help you with:

  • Advice for SMEs being impacted by COVID-19 on what support is available and what government announcements mean for your individual business
  • Resources for businesses from the Government and other organisations
  • What the impact of COVID-19 has been on the UK economy on supply chains, activity, and operating conditions

If you need advice if you or your staff are feeling unwell, visit the NHS 111 online Coronavirus service

NHS 111 can also help you with advice on:

  • The importance of staying at home as a way in which stop the spread of COVID-19
  • How long you should stay at home for, should you have symptoms, what to do if someone you live with has symptoms and how to get an isolation note to give to your employer
  • How to look after your health and wellbeing to stay well while you're at home

If you have any questions, you could speak to your Accountant or Financial Advisor. 

This article was first published on the Close Brothers Coronavirus Resource Hub.