Business Response Network bolstered by additional support from the Covid-19 Support Fund and The UPS Foundation

The Covid-19 Support Fund joins London Stock Exchange Group and others as a founding partner, providing financial support to the rapidly growing Business in the Community initiative, making a £2.5m donation

  • The UPS Foundation has donated £42k respectively as a supporting partner
  • More than 1,700 matches between business offers of support and schools, charities and local community groups across the UK have been made since lockdown began, including more than 120 in Northern Ireland

On the day that we are proud to announce a further £2.5m of donations to the National Business Response Network (NBRN) that will be used to support work across the UK, including here in Northern Ireland through the Business Response Network.

The Covid-19 Support Fund, an initiative by the insurance and long-term savings industry, has invested £2.5m into the NBRN; joining London Stock Exchange Group and others as founding partners. The Covid-19 Support Fund is supported by members of the Association of British Insurers (ABI), British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA), Lloyd’s, The London Market Group (LMG) and the International Underwriting Association (IUA).

To date, more than 1,700 requests for help have been matched with business support by the NBRN, benefiting millions of people, including more than 120 projects here in Northern Ireland.

One example is Business in the Community member company, Asda. Its commitment to tackling poverty through its Fight Hunger campaign has long been an inspiration, and its total donations to good causes in Northern Ireland in 2019 was £229,025.

Before and during the COVID-19 crisis across the UK, Asda has worked closely with the Trussell Trust and Fareshare, donating 100,000+ meals annually to over 100 NI charities.

As a result of its partnership, Fareshare NI has been able to purchase two new vans, invest in a freezer unit, fit out a training room, purchase coolboxes and recruit 23 new charities.

Donations from founding and supporting partners support the acceleration of the efforts in this time of need and also provide help in the form of professional skills. The partnerships allow employees from across the country to contribute by using their skills and time to support local communities.

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

The four areas we most urgently need support from business are: food, technology, clothing and skills support.

Kieran Harding, managing director of Business in the Community, said:

“The Business Response Network brings the immense power of responsible businesses to the doorsteps of those in need in our communities. Support from donors means the reach and depth of this work can go much further.

“We also know how vital business support is – and how important it is to get it to the right place at the right time. If your business can offer support, get in touch.

Yvonne Braun, Director of Policy, Long-Term Savings and Protection at the Association of British Insurers, said:

“Our sector set up the Covid-19 Support Fund to help those hardest hit by the crisis. We’re delighted to become a founding partner of the Network and look forward to working with them on this fantastic initiative.”

Mark Vale, President, UK, Ireland and the Nordics at UPS:

“We’re proud to support BITC’s National Business Response Network in the UK; collaborative efforts are upholding our mission to build stronger, more resilient, and inclusive communities around the world.”

About the Business Response Network

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

  • Food
  • Technology
  • Social care
  • Small businesses

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.