COVID-19: National Business Response Network secures £1m investment from London Stock Exchange Group and hits more than 400 business and community matches

  • London Stock Exchange Group joins AXA as a founding partner, providing financial support to the rapidly growing Business in the Community initiative, making a £1m investment
  • More than 400 (404) matches between business offers of support and schools, charities and local community groups across the UK have been made, just five weeks after launch
  • Food by far the most matched request with offers of support from businesses, with Costa Coffee alone donating 55,000 cakes across seven regions

At just five weeks old, the National Business Response Network has already made more than 400 (404) matches between community groups, schools and charities and UK businesses that have been able to meet their urgent needs during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The National Business Response Network was launched in April by Business in the Community (BITC), a charity and The Prince’s Responsible Business Network with more than 750 member companies. Just a week after launch, it received a seven-figure investment from AXA to accelerate the initiative.

BITC has now received a further £1m investment from the London Stock Exchange Group, which will help it to rapidly scale up the response network and match more community organisations and charities that need urgent support with the businesses that can provide it.

The network focuses its activity on four key areas helping communities navigate their way through the coronavirus pandemic:

  • Food: Ensuring people have continued access to food
  • Technology: Support to enable children to continue learning, and older people to stay connected to families
  • Community support: Support to vulnerable groups and older people to enable continued access to food, healthcare, social interaction and other essentials
  • Small businesses: Creating resources with advice and practical tools specifically for small businesses; providing business continuity and wellbeing support through mentoring for small businesses

To date, food has been by far the most matched request with offers of support from businesses (132 matches).

Examples of matches made during April and May:

  • Through the National Business Response Network, Manchester Airport introduced BITC to an airline catering company that has donated more than 100,000 meals, many delivered by airport staff volunteers, to communities in Greater Manchester.
  • Costa Coffee made a donation of 55,000 cakes to small community organisations across seven UK regions, with British Gas and Safestyle supporting with the transport and delivery.
  • bp’s delivery of 100 laptops to the Reach Academy and LEAP Federation, two community organisations in London, which split the laptops between six primary schools.
  • PwC’s donation of 40 volunteers to man the helplines of Advice NI and Age NI.
  • BNP Paribas made available delivery vans to help a London food bank deliver packages to the vulnerable and homeless.
  • Iceland donated 40 large freezers to foodbanks across the country. They are also sending £50 in vouchers to each food bank to start filling the freezers.
  • Deloitte donated essential stationery to schools and communities across the UK.

Community organisations in need of help and businesses wanting to offer their support can visit the National Business Response Network online board of needs and offers: www.businessresponsecovid.org.uk

The three areas we most urgently need support from business are: food, technology and equipment.

Amanda Mackenzie OBE, chief executive of Business in the Community, said:

“The contribution that businesses are making to support our most vulnerable communities is magnificent. Their offers of support through our National Business Response Network magnifies the impact of business giving – bringing the scale of a national business network to the doorsteps of our local communities.

“We’re also extremely excited to welcome London Stock Exchange Group as a founding partner and grateful for their £1m investment. This will help us to rapidly scale up the National Business Response Network and build on the success achieved to date with the help of AXA.

“We know what local communities need as they battle the impact of Covid-19 on their towns and cities and we’re calling on businesses who want to offer support to contact us to make sure their support gets to the right place at the right time.”

David Schwimmer, CEO, London Stock Exchange Group:

“We are pleased to join the National Business Response Network as a founding partner. The work of Business in the Community is closely aligned with our group’s longstanding commitment to small businesses. We believe that supporting the recovery and growth of these businesses is critical to the UK economy. We look forward to working with BITC to provide support to communities impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Lucinda Charles-Jones, AXA UK & Ireland HR director & Business in the Community Board of Trustees director:

“We are thrilled and honoured by the incredible amount of support the National Business Response Network has received in its first five weeks. Food, technology and community support are some of the most basic needs for local communities who are navigating their way through this pandemic, so we would encourage any company who thinks they can help to get involved. On a similar note, we are delighted that the London Stock Exchange Group is joining the network as co-founders. With their help, we will be able to reach even more groups, providing essential resources where it’s needed most.”

Ends

Media Contact
Katherine Howbrook, head of media and external affairs, Business in the Community
Email: katherine.howbrook@bitc.org.uk, Tel 07515 119 096

About the National Business Response Network
Through Business in the Community’s vast regional and local connections and leaders on the ground, the National Business Response Network identifies national and local community needs from community groups, schools, local authorities, local resilience bodies, charities and alliances such as the British Red Cross Voluntary and Community Sector Emergencies Partnership and small businesses. The network then connects business resources to meet the food, technology, social care and small business needs.

The business resources we will be matching to community needs are:

  • Professional support: Using the untapped resources and goodwill of our member companies to provide human resource to support communities in the UK.
  • Lending/donating resources: Lending or donating resources to organisations and people to meet need.
  • Logistics: Transportation of people, goods and services.

About Business in the Community
Business in the Community is the oldest and largest business-led membership organisation dedicated to responsible business. We were created nearly 40 years ago by HRH The Prince of Wales to champion responsible business.

We inspire, engage and challenge members and we mobilise that collective strength as a force for good in society to:

  • develop a skilled and inclusive workforce for today and tomorrow;
  • build thriving communities where people want to live and work;
  • innovate to sustain and repair our planet.

www.bitc.org.uk