Coronavirus: Business support organisations offering advice and guidance
Business support organisations are providing dedicated sectoral support for local businesses managing the impact of coronavirus
The government is working closely with publicly-funded support bodies, business representative organisations and trade associations to support the response to coronavirus.
Below is a list of organisations you can speak with to get advice. Many of these organisations are also happy to respond to non-member queries related to coronavirus.
Many of these websites also include sector-specific guidance and Q&A. This list does not cover all support organisations, trade associations and business representatives.
- Local councils
- General business support organisations
- Chambers of Commerce
- Aerospace and Defence, and Aviation
- Arts, Libraries and Museums
- Chemical, Health Technology and Pharmaceutical
- Engineering and Manufacturing
- Film, Television and Media
- Food supply
- Hair and beauty
- Labour and recruitment
- Professional and Business Services Sector
- Small businesses
- Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council
- Ards and North Down Borough Council
- Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council
- Belfast City Council
- Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council
- Derry City and Strabane District Council
- Fermanagh and Omagh District Council
- Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council
- Mid and East Antrim Borough Council
- Mid Ulster District Council
- Newry, Mourne and Down District Council
General business support organisations
Catalyst is an independent, not-for-profit organisation working to support innovation in Northern Ireland - visit their COVID-19 site for more information.
Consumer Council for Northern Ireland
The Consumer Council provides free, independent support and advice for all consumers and businesses in Northern Ireland. A dedicated page contains information on topics including, electricity, gas, water bills, premises safety and business banking - find their latest coronavirus advice for businesses.
Enterprise Northern Ireland represents the interests of Local Enterprise Agencies and lobbies on behalf of small businesses - find out how to contact your local enterprise agency.
Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland
HSENI is providing guidance to businesses working through the COVID-19 situation - visit their website for more information.
Intertrade Ireland aims to support and grow cross-border trade and business development. Visit their coronavirus page for more information on support for cross-border trade.
Invest Northern Ireland
Invest NI is supporting businesses in Northern Ireland to manage the impact of coronavirus - find out more on their COVID-19 response page.
Labour Relations Agency (LRA)
Find updates on changes to services offered by the LRA due to coronavirus.
Land and Property Services (LPS)
Visit the LPS website for more information on services during the coronavirus pandemic.
Social Enterprise NI
Social Enterprise NI is the voice for social enterprises and social entrepreneurs in Northern Ireland - find out more on their coronavirus update page.
Tourism NI has set up a dedicated enquiry facility to support businesses in the tourism sector - find out more on the Tourism NI COVID-19 hub.
Chambers of Commerce
- Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce and Industry
- Ballycastle Chamber of Commerce
- Ballymena Borough Chamber of Commerce and Industry
- Bangor Chamber of Commerce
- Belfast Chamber of Trade and Commerce
- Causeway Chamber of Commerce
- Cookstown Chamber of Commerce
- Holywood Chamber of Commerce
- Lisburn Chamber of Commerce
- Londonderry Chamber of Commerce
- Newcastle Chamber of Commerce
- Newry Chamber of Commerce and Trade
- Omagh Chamber of Commerce and Industry
Aerospace and Defence, and Aviation
Aerospace, Defence, Security and Space (ADS)
ADS represents and supports UK businesses operating in the aerospace, defence, security and space sectors. For more information on coronavirus in the aerospace and defence sector, visit the ADS COVID-19 hub or email them at email@example.com.
Airport Operators Association (AOA)
The AOA is a trade association representing the interests of UK airports. They are publishing regular updates on coronavirus.
Ulster Farmers' Union (UFU)
The Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU) is the largest democratic voluntary organisation representing farmers and growers in Northern Ireland. Visit their website for more information.
Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA)
RIBA is a global professional membership body that serves its members and society in order to deliver better buildings and places, stronger communities and a sustainable environment. Visit their coronavirus page or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Royal Society of Ulster Architects
The Royal Society of Ulster Architects (RSUA) is the professional body for chartered architects in Northern Ireland. Visit their website for more information.
Arts, Libraries and Museums
Arts Council of Northern Ireland
The Arts Council of Northern Ireland is the development and funding agency for the Arts in Northern Ireland. See their COVID-19 support page.
Museums Association represents the interests of privately owned museums. Visit their website for more coronavirus related information.
National Museum Directors’ Council (NMDC)
NMDC represents the leaders of the UK’s national collections and major regional museums. Visit their website for more coronavirus-related information.
Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT)
Chemical, Health Technology and Pharmaceutical
Association of the British Health Tech Industries (ABHI)
ABHI is an industry association for health technology (HealthTech). Their members include both multinational companies and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Visit the ABHI COVID-19 hub for more information or email email@example.com.
Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI)
Chemical Industries Association (CIA)
CIA represents and advises chemical and pharmaceutical companies located across the UK. Visit their COVID-19 page for more information.
Pharmaceutical Society Northern Ireland (PSNI)
Pharmaceutical Society NI registers and regulates pharmacists and pharmacies in Northern Ireland as well as providing leadership to the profession. Visit their COVID-19 page for more information.
Construction Employers Federation
The Construction Employers Federation (CEF) is the certified representative body for the construction industry in Northern Ireland. Visit their coronavirus page for the latest updates and guidance.
Construction Leadership Council
The Construction Leadership Council (CLC) works between industry and government to identify and deliver actions supporting UK construction. Read their site operating procedures guidance.
Construction Industry Training Board Northern Ireland (CITB NI)
CITB NI is the industry training board for the construction sector in Northern Ireland. Visit their coronavirus page for more information on how CITB is supporting the construction industry.
Association for Decentralised Energy (ADE)
The Association for Decentralised Energy (ADE) is the leading trade association for decentralised energy, representing more than 160 interested parties across the industrial, commercial and public sectors. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Energy UK is a trade association for the UK energy industry with members across all energy sectors including the electricity transmission and system operator National Grid.
Visit Energy UK’s COVID-19 hub to find more information on operating in the UK energy market under coronavirus impact.
Oil & Gas UK (OGUK)
OGUK is a representative organisation for the UK offshore oil and gas industry. Read their COVID-19 guidance.
Engineering and Manufacturing
Engineering and Machinery Alliance (EAMA)
EAMA promotes the machinery and manufacturing supply chain, and the work of trade associations. Email email@example.com to link up with sector specialists.
Make UK represents British manufacturing and manufacturers. Visit their coronavirus page for more information.
Manufacturing represents manufacturing and manufacturers in Northern Ireland. Visit their COVID-19 information hub for more information.
Film, Television and Media
UK broadcasters and producers have joined forces to publish coronavirus safety guidelines for TV production. Download the TV Production Guidance: Managing the risk of Coronavirus (COVID-19) in production making (PDF, 239K).
UK Screen Alliance
The UK Screen Alliance is a trade body that represents UK companies working in the film, TV and commercials industries. Visit their website for guidance on safe working in post-production and VFX during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Agricultural Industries Confederation (AIC)
The Agricultural Industries Confederation (AIC) is a trade association representing businesses in the agri-supply industry. Visit their coronavirus page for more information.
British Frozen Food Federation (BFFF)
BFFF is the UK’s frozen food trade association, with members comprising Producers, Wholesalers, Importers, Exporters, Brokers, Retailers and related Associate businesses. Visit their website for more information.
Dairy UK represents farmer-owned co-ops and private dairy companies producing safe, nutritious and sustainable dairy foods. Find out more on their website.
Food and Drink Federation (FDF)
FDF represents businesses in the UK food and drink industry and key players in the food chain. Email Covid19enquiry@fdf.org.uk for more information.
Northern Ireland Food & Drink
NIFDA is a voluntary organisation working for a sustainable and growing internationally competitive food and drink industry in Northern Ireland. Visit their website for food manufacturing guidance during COVID-19.
Northern Ireland Meat Exporters Association
NIMEA represents the major meat processors and exporters in Northern Ireland. Find more information on their website.
Hair and beauty
National Hair & Beauty Federation (NHBF)
NHBF is a trade body for the hair, beauty and barbering industries. See their coronavirus information hub for advice.
Northern Ireland Hotels Federation
The Northern Ireland Hotels Federation is the representative body for hotels, guesthouses and other accommodation providers in Northern Ireland. Visit their coronavirus page for more information.
Northern Ireland Federation of Housing Associations
The Northern Ireland Federation of Housing Associations is the representative body NI’s registered housing associations. Visit their website for coronavirus-related advice and information.
Labour and recruitment
Association of Labour Providers
The Association of Labour Providers represents businesses who supply labour into the UK consumer goods sector. Visit their website for more coronavirus information.
Association of Professional Staffing Companies Ltd (APSCo)
APSCo is an international organisation, supporting professional staffing sectors. They can offer legal guidance and policy-related support to recruiters, end-users, candidates and other affected parties. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC)
REC is the business body for staffing and recruitment firms, including temporary and permanent workers. The REC can offer recruiters legal advice and guidance, business support, briefing on key policy issues and representation of the sector to Government. Email email@example.com for more information.
The Law Society of Northern Ireland
The Law Society of Northern Ireland is the regulatory and representative body for solicitors in Northern Ireland. Visit their coronavirus page for more information.
British Ports Association (BPA)
BPA represents the interest of port members to the UK and devolved governments. Visit their coronavirus page for more information.
Professional and Business Services Sector
Association of British Insurers (ABI)
ABI represents the UK’s insurance and long-term savings industry. Visit ABI’s coronavirus hub for more information.
Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed (IPSE)
IPSE supports the self-employed including freelancers, contractors, consultants and independent professionals with training, information and campaigning. Visit their coronavirus hub for more information.
Association for Consulting and Engineering (ACE)
ACE is a trade body for consultants, engineers and infrastructure providers. It champions infrastructure to government and other stakeholders. Find more information on ACE’s coronavirus support.
Chartered Management Institute (CMI)
The Chartered Management Institute is an accredited professional institution for management based in the United Kingdom. CMI’s coronavirus hub brings together practical advice for managers of both SMEs and large businesses.
Confederation of Business Industry (CBI)
CBI speaks on behalf of businesses across every region, sector and size. Visit their coronavirus hub for more information.
Enterprise Nation supports new and growing businesses through a community of advisers and other businesses. Visit their coronavirus support page for more information.
You can also attend a series of free webinars through Enterprise Nation’s website.
Institute of Directors (IOD)
IOD represents business leaders in the UK. Visit their coronavirus hub for more information.
Chartered Accountants Ireland
Chartered Accountants Ireland (The Institute) is a membership body representing 28,500 influential members throughout the globe. Find more information on coronavirus response on their COVID-19 Hub.
Management Consultancies Association (MCA)
The Management Consultancies Association (MCA) is the voice of the consulting industry and the representative body for the UK’s leading management consulting firms. Visit their coronavirus page or check their events and courses that may help you through this time.
British Retail Consortium
British Retail Consortium is the UK trade association for the UK retail industry. Visit their coronavirus pages for advice and guidance.
Northern Ireland Retail Consortium (NIRC)
Part of the British Retail Consortium, NIRC’s purpose is to make a positive difference to the retail industry. For more information on support with coronavirus related impacts on your business visit their website.
Retail NI is the trade body for independent retailers in Northern Ireland. Visit the Retail NI website for more information on their coronavirus response.
Federation of small businesses (FSB)
FSB represents small businesses and offers them advice, financial expertise and support. Visit their coronavirus page for advice and guidance for small businesses and the self-employed.
UKspace represents the UK space industry to government and other key stakeholders nationally and internationally. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
An industry association, promoting the interests of commercial fitness gyms and community leisure centres. Visit their COVID-19 advice and guidance for the physical activity sector.
Responsible for investing in Olympic and Paralympic sport across the whole of the UK. Visit their website for coronavirus-related information.
Sport Northern Ireland
Sport NI is a public body working for the development of sport in Northern Ireland. Visit their website for coronavirus-related information.
The Motorsport Industry Association (MIA)
MIA is the trade association for motorsport, high-performance engineering and tuning sectors. Email Julia email@example.com for more information.
Momentum is the trade association for the ICT industry in Northern Ireland. Visit their website for more information.
TechWorks’ mission is to strengthen the UK’s deep tech capabilities as a global leader of future technologies. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Logistic UK represents all logistic businesses with members from the road, rail, sea and air industries as well as the buyers of freight services. Visit their coronavirus page for more information.
Road Haulage Association
The Road Haulage Association (RHA) is dedicated to the needs of UK road transport operators. Visit their coronavirus page for more information on sectoral advice.
First published 10 April 2020