Coronavirus: useful resources + support

Collated resources and support to help you survive and thrive during this time. You’ll find support for employees, employers, freelancers and small businesses but also plenty of other topics to look after your wellbeing, lift your spirits and keep you smiling.

Meet The Match!

by Sarah Henderson

Are you furloughed and would like to volunteer your time? Or are you a small business or voluntary sector organisation looking for support? The Match might be just what you’re looking for. 

The Match connects skilled professionals who are furloughed from their jobs with small businesses and charities for strategic and practical business support during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The scheme is powered by Echo, and was initiated by Echo, Loughborough University London and Hackney Wick and Fish Island Creative Enterprise Zone, and aims to support the vibrant local ecosystem of small creative businesses, self-employed creatives, charities and community groups that make this part of East London distinctive.

Since we launched The Match in mid-May, we’ve had offers of help and expertise in areas including fundraising, legal advice, videography, social media, branding, copywriting and lots more. 

If you’re currently furloughed and would like to volunteer your time, or if you’re a small business or VSO looking for support, you can sign up for free at

Funding available for businesses and organisations

by Sarah Henderson

We’ve collated sources of funding available for businesses and organisations:

Funding for businesses

  • You can find the latest government grants and loans available here
  • On 2nd May, the government announced a top up to their business grant fund scheme, expanding eligibility to businesses based within coworking spaces – details here
  • Resilience and recovery loan fund – for businesses with a minimum turnover of £400k
  • The Pay It Forward Scheme by London growth hub helps businesses stay afloat by pre-selling services

The London Growth Hub have loads of useful info and guidance on how to access government support.

Funding for arts, culture and voluntary sector organisations

Grants Online has been updating a pretty comprehensive list of funds available here.

We recommend this free tool by Blackburn and Darwen Council for searching for local funding you might be eligible – it’s not in our local area, but the tool works to search grants across the UK.

We also have a number of volunteers offering 1:1 fundraising support via The Match.

Other sources of support for small businesses and freelancers

by Sarah Henderson
  • Crowdfunder have removed all fees for setting up campaigns on their platform 
  • Charlie HR have put together some v useful guidance for anyone who employs others who needs to understand sick pay obligations and how to manage and support your team during this time.
  • Tutti have created a fantastic resource with ideas for freelancers who need to diversify their work and find new sources of income
  • Echo members Enrol Yourself have created this fantastic guide which supports people to support each other to set goals, stay accountable, and get shit done.
  •  If you are a food retailer with urgent surplus food, please contact Olio and they will pick it up and get it to vulnerable people who would benefit.

Support from Echo

by Sarah Henderson
  • Sign up for dedicated weekly email newsletters with the latest guidance, support and opportunities here
  • Join our dedicated Facebook group for small businesses, freelancers and self-employed people in the Echo network here
  • Find 1:1 skills, services and support on the Echo marketplace
  • Sign up for our Digital Skills workshop series to upskill yourself and your organisation