We're committed to helping businesses in the North get through the Coronavirus outbreak. Visit our support section for more information.

Business support - Coronavirus

As the situation with Coronavirus is developing, we want to reassure our customers that we are here to help.

We want you to know that we have the technology in place that allows us to continue operating as usual during this difficult time. To ensure the safety of our staff, our teams are working from home, but we remain in contact with the businesses we support.

We are committed to supporting businesses with their funding needs, so if you are a business seeking finance please contact us. Likewise, if you are an advisor and want to know how we can assist your clients with their funding requirements, please get in touch.

If you are an existing customer and wish to discuss your loan and how we might be able to help you at this difficult time, please contact your designated Portfolio Executive.

We are working closely with the government and business support organisations to keep up-to-date with developments during this challenging period.

The government has committed to providing a significant funding package to support UK businesses.

There are two main funding initiatives available to companies depending on their size:

  • COVID-19 Corporate Financing Facility (“CCFF”): aimed at larger corporates who are strong credits (investment grade) but experiencing liquidity pressures due to the impact of COVID-19. The CCFF will allow large corporates to access short term financing through issuing Commercial Paper (“CP”). The fund will be managed and administered by the Bank of England (“BoE”) on behalf of HM Treasury.
  • Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (“CBILS”): building upon infrastructure which is in place for an existing scheme, this fund is available to SMEs and looks to provide a range of financing support over the short to medium term. It will be administered by the British Business Bank, with funding provided by a range of lenders who will benefit from a government guarantee. FW Capital is actively pursuing participation in this scheme and we will update our website accordingly when this is confirmed. In the meantime, if you would like somebody to contact you regarding this scheme please register your interest here.


The government has also published general guidance for employers and employees. Further assistance that is available includes:

Tax Helpline

HMRC is offering flexible solutions to help businesses in the face of disruption caused by COVID-19 and has a  helpline for businesses concerned about paying their taxes. 

Job retention scheme

The government will pay grants to cover 80% of salaries (up to £2,500 a month) for those who are kept on by their employers but unable to work. Find out more.

Sick pay costs

Statutory sick pay will be available for eligible individuals who have been diagnosed with coronavirus or who are self-isolating. SMEs (businesses with fewer than 250 employees) will be able to reclaim the cost of 14 days of statutory sick pay per employee.

VAT deferral

All VAT payments are deferred for three months, from 20 March 2020 until 30 June 2020. This is an automatic offer for all UK businesses, with no applications required. Any VAT not paid back during the deferral period will be due at the end of the 2020 to 2021 tax year.  Find out more.

Three month extension period to file accounts 

Businesses can apply for an additional 3 months to file accounts with Companies House to help avoid penalties as they deal with the impact of COVID-19. Please note this is subject to approval upon application. Find out more.

Help for self-employed    

The government has announced a support scheme that will allow self-employed people to claim a taxable grant worth 80% of their trading profits up to a maximum of £2,500 per month for the next 3 months. This may be extended if needed. Find out more

Income tax self-assessment payments due on 31st July will be deferred until 31 January 2021

Support from high-street banks

Some of the high-street banks have announced measures such as payment holidays to help their customers manage the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. The below are general helplines or dedicated numbers for coronavirus support:

Natwest – Speak to your Relationship Manager or contact 0345 711 4477

Barclays – Speak to your Relationship Manager or call 0800 1971 086. 

Lloyds – Promoting up to £2 billion of finance without fees to small businesses. Speak to your Relationship Manager

HSBC – Helpline 08000 121 614

RBS – Speak to your Relationship Manager or Call 0345 600 2230

Growth Hubs

In addition, assistance and advice is on offer from the many Growth Hubs across the North of England:

Cheshire & Warrington


Greater Manchester


Liverpool City Region

North East

Tees Valley

There may be changes you can make that could help your business through this challenging period. You may want to consider how you can diversify your business such as enhancing your online offering or supporting critical sectors as they scale up their operations. It is worth reaching out to existing customers, some of which might be in a strong financial position and willing to pay on advanced terms to assist with your cash flow. Likewise, some suppliers might have capacity to agree to extended payment terms.