Coronavirus update: Website launched with expert advice to help firms trade through the crisis

March 26, 2020

Swindon businesses needing up-to-date information, advice and guidance to help them trade in the current unprecedented market conditions are being encouraged to turn to a new web portal launched by Business West, the region’s largest business organisation.

Called Trading Through Coronavirus, it aims to help businesses navigate their way through the crisis by enabling them to submit questions via a web form, as well as signposting them to vital financial information and resources – such as the government’s Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme – along with a plethora of practical advice and guidance. 

The portal has been created by the Business West team behind its award-winning Trading Through Brexit service, which has helped thousands of businesses prepare successfully for life after Brexit.

Business West, which runs the Swindon & Wiltshire Initiative, said the new portal will be expanded in the coming weeks to include interactive webinars with expert lawyers, business advisors and accountants and virtual networking events to connect local businesses, enabling them to share best practices and resources at this difficult time.

The team behind Trading Through Coronavirus is also in daily contact with local authorities across the region to enable them to shape their economic response to the pandemic and prioritise areas of core business need.

At the same time, the detailed economic intelligence gathered from inquiries to the site will be fed back to Chancellor Rishi Sunak, via the British Chambers of Commerce – the organisation representing Business West and chambers of commerce at a national level. 

Business West managing director Phil Smith, pictured, said the pandemic was not just a public health emergency but an economic one too.

“Less than two weeks ago, few of us could’ve anticipated the damage currently being wrought by the coronavirus (COVID-19) to our businesses, communities and the economy,” he said.

“It is scarcely believable that otherwise successful businesses before the coronavirus pandemic emerged now face an uphill struggle simply to keep the lights on, yet, that is the sad reality which we find ourselves in.”

He said these were truly unprecedented times for businesses and the economy, and the challenges were grave.

“But we believe businesses shouldn’t have to face these challenges alone, which is why we’ve launched Trading Through Coronavirus,” he added.

“Providing detailed practical advice and guidance on everything from Coronavirus Business Interruption Loans and small business grants to statutory sick pay and working from home, our main objective with Trading Through Coronavirus is to protect the businesses and livelihoods put at risk by coronavirus in this region.”

Trading Through Brexit, which was launched in October 2019, is still in operation. It centres on a regular video series fronted by Business West director of policy Matt Griffith and offers businesses up-to-the minute practical planning advice. Its first year it attracted more than 500 subscribers and 15,140 webpage visits.

That achievement led to Business West winning the Most Effective Campaigning category at the annual British Chambers of Commerce Awards.

The Trading Through Coronavirus hub is constantly being updated with answers to frequently-asked questions and the latest information and guidance for businesses. To ask a question directly to one of its experts, visit




Comments are closed.


Reach tens of thousands of senior business people across Swindon & Wiltshire for just £70 a month. Email for more information.