Letter to all Tide members: Launch of Tide charity

Our CEO Oliver Prill has written this open letter, which we’ve emailed to all members: 

Dear Tide Members, 

Introducing the Tide Charity

I’m pleased to announce that we’re launching Tide Charity* in partnership with the Daily Mail, the Federation of Small Businesses and Karren Brady CBE.  

As well as support and guidance to help business owners meet the challenges ahead (see below), the Tide Charity will initially provide grants of £1,000 to small businesses most in need to help them avoid collapse. Today, we’re appealing for more donations. Applications for grants will open soon.

Braced for the new lockdown

Not long ago, we thought we were on the path to recovery, leaving the Covid-19 crisis behind us. But with rising infection rates, it became clear that recovery is further off than we’d hoped. And then on 31 October, the Prime Minister announced England’s second national lockdown, following tougher measures already announced in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales. 

For many of you, this means more hardship on top of the severe challenges you’ve already faced this year. At Tide, we’re here to support you so we’re adding to our usual help with your finance admin by stepping up our extra coronavirus support:

Tide Charity will provide support including:

  • grants for £1,000
    Full instructions and criteria will be published on the Tide Charity website.
  • live online Q&A session for small businesses
    We’ll be hosting this FREE event on Tuesday 17 November, where you’ll have the chance to ask our panel about the challenges your business is facing. The panel includes Karren Brady and the Federation of Small Businesses. Jump to: Read more and register »
  • campaigning to encourage the public to support small businesses
    Look out for an article published in the Daily Mail. The newspaper has a huge reach – over 1 million people read the paper every day, and 31 million people a month visit their websites (source: Newsworks). Both Daily Mail and the Federation of Small Businesses will support our campaign and continue to highlight the importance of small businesses to our economy and society. 

How we’re raising money – and how you can help

At the moment, Tide Charity is actively raising money via donations. Of course, the more we raise, the more businesses the Charity will be able to help. 

Community spirit is flourishing among small businesses. In a recent survey of small business owners, 70% told us that they would support a fellow business owner financially, if they could afford it (survey by Opinion Matters for Tide, Sept/Oct 2020).

We know that many of you are facing extreme hardship, with more uncertainty to come in the face of the second lockdown. However we also know some of you are fortunate enough to operate in sectors and with business models that haven’t been negatively affected by the crisis. And some of you have even seen your businesses grow this year. 

We want to help you help other small businesses. You might be a business owner wanting to help. Or you might have contacts in larger businesses who have expressed interest in helping smaller companies but they’re not sure how. 

To help donors help small businesses, we’ve set up Tide Charity with an application and distribution system to allow donations to make a real difference to small businesses in need. The Charity will publish information about businesses helped and 100% of donations will go to applicants. (Tide is covering the management costs of the charity.)

To read more about the Tide Charity and to make a donation:

If you can’t donate you can still help us – please share the link with friends and contacts: www.tidecharity.org.uk
And you could also follow us on LinkedIn and share our post with your network.

Tide Charity campaign – what’s happening next

Applications for grants will open soon – we’ll announce this on the Tide Charity website. Meanwhile, Tide Charity is focusing on fundraising. 

Look out for an article in the Daily Mail highlighting some small businesses similar to those the Tide Charity will be supporting.

And don’t miss our live Q&A session on 17 November where you’ll be able to ask a panel of experts for guidance on the challenges you’re facing. The Q&A will be hosted by Ruth Sunderland, Business Editor at the Daily Mail. I’ll be on the panel together with Karren Brady, and Craig Beaumont, Chief of External Affairs, Federation of Small Businesses. 

To sign up to attend this free online event on 17 November at 1pm, register now and submit a question in advance:

We can’t help every business – but we can help some businesses

The decision to set up the Tide Charity wasn’t easy. We had much well-intentioned advice not to set up a charity – because we’ll only be able to support a fraction of the businesses who need help. Advisors pointed to our efforts to provide Bounce Back Loans which, without access to the Bank of England funding, we couldn’t offer on a large scale. 

I take a different view. Tide exists to serve small businesses so I believe it’s better to support those that we can, knowing we can’t help everyone, than to take the easier route of supporting no-one. I hope you’ll agree, and understand that the Tide Charity won’t be able to help everyone.

We’re determined to raise donations to help as many as we possibly can. We’d be grateful that, if you’re able to donate, you make a donation now. Help Tide Charity to help the UK’s entrepreneurs in need. With your help, they can get back to doing what we know you all love: running a small business.


Oliver Prill, CEO, Tide

Update: Read the article published in Daily Mail on 11 November:
Daily Mail | How you can save the beating heart of Britain »

The full name of Tide Charity is: The Tide Coronavirus Financial Hardship Charity.
Tide Charity is a registered charity, number 1189830