Coronavirus Startup Survival Guide

Learn how to navigate the Coronavirus outbreak - from accessing government support and emergency funding, to revising your business strategy and looking after your team's health.

If you have any questions or need any advice during this difficult time, feel free to send us an email at admin@angelinvestmentnetwork.co.uk

Government Support

Business rates holiday

All retail, hospitality and leisure businesses based in England are exempt from paying business rates for the tax year 2020-2021. Exemptions will be automatically applied to council tax bills which will be issued in April 2020.

Small Business Grant

One off grants of £10,000 are available for small businesses which pay little or no business rates because they already receive small business rate relief or rural rate relief. Local authorities will contact eligible businesses.

Cash grants for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses

The UK government’s Retail and Hospitality Grant Scheme will provide cash grants of up to £25,000 for businesses in retail, hospitality and leisure sectors which are based in England. Local authorities will contact eligible businesses.

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS)

The CBILS provides loan facilities of up to £5 million for small businesses across the UK available on repayment terms of up to six years. The cost of interest and fees will be covered by the government for the first 12 months. Businesses are 100% liable for the debt.

HMRC Tax Helpline

HMRC have set up a dedicated helpline to support businesses and self-employed people who are concerned about not being able to pay their tax due to coronavirus. The helpline number is: 0800 0159 559

Alternative funding sources

Facebook Small Business Grants Programme

Facebook is offering $100M in cash grants and ad credits for up to 30,000 eligible small businesses in over 30 countries. Check their website for eligibility criteria and details of how to apply.


Wisefund are providing an option to get financial support via crowdfunding loans for small businesses across Europe whose revenue has been affected by coronavirus. Companies which have seen a sales decrease of 25% or more are eligible for loans of between €10,000-€250,000 with low to medium interest rates. Any debt is taken on by the business.

Pay it Forward

Enterprise Nation and Crowdfunder have launched the Pay it Forward campaign to help small businesses facing cash flow issues. Businesses can set up a crowdfunding page for free and easily set up a scheme to offer customers vouchers for services or products which they can redeem in the future.


NatWest has pledged £5bn of working capital support for SMEs during the coronavirus outbreak. They have a variety of solutions to help companies manage their trading risk or access funding to alleviate supply chain pressures. They may be able to offer loan repayment holidays or temporary emergency loans with no fees.

Lloyds Banking

Lloyds have a £2 billion package of arrangement fee free finance to help minimise disruptions to business operations. Support includes no arrangement fees for new overdrafts or overdraft limit increase, no arrangement fees for new or increased invoice finance facilities, and capital repayment holidays on loans for businesses that have been severely impacted.

Useful guides

GeekWire: 8 tips for Startup Survival

Dan Rosen, Chairman of Alliance of Angels, gives his tips on what startups can do to weather the economic challenges created by coronavirus.

How to make working from home work

Video Conferencing Platform

Choose a platform that best serves your company’s needs. You can read about the benefits of different video conferencing software below. We use both Zoom and Google Hangouts frequently. Make sure that you have both downloaded on your computer and phone so you can easily access them, and if you have problems with one device, you can try on the other.


Scheduling a meeting with a service such as Calendly makes it easy to coordinate a time, the person you are inviting can directly book time in your calendar. They will also receive multiple notifications, decreasing the risk of no shows. For meetings with a large group of people, Doodle can be good for establishing a time that works for everyone.

Planning and communication

There’s nothing more frustrating having prepared for a meeting only to find that people show up late, or not at all. Set an agenda with actions items to discuss, set specific timing for items to make sure people stick to the timing. Test your equipment and ensure everyone checks audio, headphone and internet connection at least 10 minutes before calls.

Collaboration Tools

Having a virtual whiteboard or similar where people can collaborate remotely helps the flow of ideas. There are a number of online collaboration tools, Miro, for example allows your team to create mindmaps, and has many other templates, including for product management.

How to look after you health, and mental health.


The uncertainty - social, health, livelihood and bereavements all put a huge stain on our mental health. Meditating is a good way to process everything and to help us reflect. Meditation app, Calm, is giving away some of its videos for free to help support people in the Coronavirus outbreak.

Exercise at home

The Fiit app brings ‘the gym home’ i.e live studio style workouts that you can do in your living room. And if you have a wearable, you can use it to track your effort and compete against your friends in a live session.

Stay motivated running

If you are missing going on group runs, but still venturing outside, you can use the Aaptiv app - a running coach via an app - to keep you motivated. It also includes other activities such as Yoga and strength training.

YouTube Workouts

YouTube can be your friend for workouts too - trainers, such as Joe Wicks (The Body Coach) offer free workouts that you and your family can get involved in from home.

The Gym Alternative

If you are really missing the gym, but don’t have space for a home gym, kettlebells could be a good alternative.