How small businesses are getting each other through coronavirus

We look at how a community of small business owners in Amsterdam are leaning on each other for everything from financial advice to emotional support during the pandemic, and what other creative businesses can learn from their experience

Aside from the far reaching health implications of coronavirus, one of the biggest impacts the ongoing pandemic is having is on our finances. Over the past few weeks, there have been countless headlines about big businesses rushing to make redundancies or being forced into administration, while others are relying heavily on the UK government’s recently announced furlough scheme, and almost one million of us have turned to universal credit out of desperation.

In the creative industries, small businesses have been hit particularly hard by the pandemic. The government has stepped in with a number of support measures, specifically its Small Business Rate Relief scheme, which allows grants of up to £10,000, while companies with a rateable value of between £15,000 and £51,000 can also apply for further grants up to £25,000 to deal with business expenses.

As with most government backed measures, however, financial loans and grants will only get you so far. In the context of the pandemic, we’ve seen many examples of individuals helping out in their communities, but this community spirit has also been extended to small businesses, many of whom previously coexisted with or even competed against each other. One such community has found its home in Amsterdam’s creative sector, where a group of half a dozen or so businesses, ranging from cultural PR agency Hooton to tech director Tobin Nageotte, have formed an unofficial support network to help get each other through the other side.