Supporting Greater Manchester businesses through the COVID-19 pandemic

Name of the local/regional government
Greater Manchester
Type of initiative
Type of response
Economic development

COVID-19 Business Support in Greater Manchester

Nearly every business across Greater Manchester has been directly impacted by COVID-19. Business support organisations across the region have been working to protect the business base in order to support economic recovery.

When COVID-19 initially hit Greater Manchester, many business support services responded to the initial crisis by pivoting their support services to focus on sign posting companies to UK Government COVID-19 Business support advice. In addition to this, The Growth Company (Greater Manchester’s Economic Development Agency) have developed aa range of new programs to better understand the impact and support local business through the crisis.

  • COVID-19 Impact Survey – This weekly rolling COVID-19 Impact Survey provides insight into over 2000 companies from across the Greater Manchester region capturing their concerns and enabling the region to monitor the direct impacts of COVID-19 on local businesses. These insights are then reported to the Greater Manchester Combined Authority and National Government to inform decision making and economic recovery.
  • #HereforBusiness - The Growth Company have expanded their call centre facilities in order to act as a single source of information, advice and guidance for businesses and employees. The #HereforBusiness campaign is ensuring GM businesses and employees know what support is available both nationally and locally. It includes proactive social media messaging, a dedicated microsite that acts as a single repository for support available and extended telephone opening times for businesses to access personalised advice. The campaign includes outbound calls to approximately 25,000 businesses in Greater Manchester. For more information View here.
  • Employ GM - Employ GM is an online portal that connects GM employers who have urgent temporary vacancies with individuals that can start straight away. It has been launched to minimise the current supply-demand mismatch within the labour market and to help people who may have become unemployed quickly return to work.
  • Supply Chain Exchange - A noticeboard platform to connect domestic supply chain partners to meet urgent demands and connect industry openly. The focus is on supporting businesses suffering with supply chain issues resulting from COVID 19 to ensure continuous supply of goods and services whilst supporting ongoing trade within the business community.
  • Local Loans and Investment Grants - An initial £3m of Local Growth Funds have been unlocked to provide local business loans of between £5k and £250k where they are struggling to access other sources of finance.  A call has also been put out to investors to grow this loan fund. More info here.
  • Growth Company Consulting (GCC) are developing a research piece on understanding the economic and social implications of COVID-19 and what actions organisations and places should look to consider supporting recovery.
  • Webinars – The Growth Company have developed a series of virtual workshops to help SE’s deal with the immediate challenges that COVID-19 has presented and help them to develop a robust strategy moving forward. Workshop topics include strategy, finance, marketing, supply chain and leadership.


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