Coronavirus – what do small businesses need to know?

A lot has changed since the UK entered lockdown just over a month ago. But what do small business owners need to know? We explore the impact of coronavirus on business operations, insurance and financial support schemes.

20 April 2020

The coronavirus outbreak is moving fast – lots has changed since the first government support packages were announced on 16 March. This article is designed to help you find the information you need for your small business as easily as possible.

We're continually reviewing our content – if you spot an error, let us know at

Looking for info on business finance? Try our coronavirus finance tool for small businesses.

Advice for small business owners

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has collated information and advice for employers in relation to coronavirus. In addition to the basics covered by the government, it includes guidance on:

For more information on these topics and more, visit the FSB website.

What’s the government doing for small businesses?

The chancellor, Rishi Sunak, has announced financial support packages for those who are self-employed, including schemes for Sole Traders, limited companies and younger start ups working in research and development. For a full breakdown of both government and non-government financial support schemes, visit our page dedicated to coronavirus finance for small businesses.

The main schemes include

You can find more info about our government support schemes in our COVID-19 hub, or visit the GOV.UK website.

What’s happening with insurance?

With the trading of many businesses being impacted by the coronavirus situation, business owners should know if they can claim compensation for loss of income.

Learn whether your business could be eligible for an insurance claim and how to make the most of your business insurance in light of coronavirus.

What's iwoca doing?

Now, as ever, we're committed to making finance accessible to small businesses. We’re pleased to announce that we’ve been accredited for the CBILS scheme by the British Business Bank (BBB). This means that we’ll now be able to offer Government-backed loans to small businesses struggling with coronavirus.

Of all the businesses operating in the UK today, 99.9% are SMEs. Many are family-run, with rich histories behind them and together they make the UK economy a diverse and exciting place to do business. We want to support them in doing what they do best – whether it's running an office plant supplier like Simply Plants or creating a unique community hub like Aldershot Play Centre.

Issues with invoice payments

If your customers are in an industry heavily affected by coronavirus, they might experience a sudden cash flow gap and struggle to pay their invoices. Read our guide on how to protect your business against such late payments during coronavirus.


If your customers struggle to settle what's owed, you may need to offer extended payment terms. If this creates a problem for your business, get in touch with our iwocaPay team. We can help you offer your customers an additional 90 days to pay, while you get the funds up front.


The #StockUpSmall campaign seeks to support small businesses through coronavirus in two ways. Firstly, by encouraging businesses that are still operating to let their customers know the unique ways they're adapting their business. Pollen + Grace are just one of hundreds of businesses that have signed up to the campaign – they're supporting the NHS by delivering free meals to staff and key workers.

Secondly, the campaign encourages consumers to think smaller. While many large supermarkets are struggling with the increased demand for their supplies, small businesses still have lots to offer. If you make a purchase from a small business, let others know by tweeting about it using the #StockUpSmall hashtag.

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Dan is part of the content team at iwoca. He writes articles explaining financial topics, as well as guides on the best support for small businesses during coronavirus.

Article updated on: 7 October 2020

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