London Community Covid-19 Response Fund

In by Sheela Sharma


As part of the response to Covid-19, the City of London Corporation, as trustee of Bridge House Estates, have established a Fund as a vehicle to receive funds which can be used to make grants to charities and civil society organisations in London to mitigate the impact of Covid-19 on their operations by providing grant funding and other support and financial assistance. The name of the Fund is the “London Community Response Fund (LCRF)”.  

Portobello Business Centre is part of the LCRF supporting the local business community (RBKC, Westminster, Brent, Hammersmith & Fulham) and we are delighted to have the opportunity to deliver valuable digital training to all registrants.

This online, fully-funded Project is designed to help pre-start, start-up, and existing businesses in our local community from October 2020 until April 2021. As of 1st April 2021 we are no longer accepting new registrations and we will do our best to provide existing registrants with the remaining advice sessions or help desk sessions covered under this Project; however, our Advisors and Experts are in high demand and their availability is limited.

This Project was designed for all individuals / business owners in the local community who would like to:

  • improve their digital skills, create their own e-commerce website, reach more potential clients on social media, learn how to create attractive digital content (online courses) and more, and / or
  • meet a group of Experts on Marketing, Branding, Website, SEO, Accounting, Business Coach (Help Desks), and / or
  • have one-to-one business advice sessions with our Business Advisors who have many years of experience helping SMEs (Business Advice Sessions).

Our Help Desk Experts are happy to assist:

Our Business Advisors are just a phone call away:

Elsa Caleb: a business strategist with over 20 years of experience, Elsa assisted scores of entrepreneurs and start-ups with how to gain market traction, find funding, and expand growth possibilities. With a solid background as a Small Business Advisor to the Government, Elsa is a results-driven, dynamic, and resourceful professional with the expertise and a proven track record of helping business owners to reach new heights. Based on your unique needs and stage of the business cycle, she can help find bespoke solutions with in-depth analysis, securing grants, loans, sponsorship, marketing, forecasting as well as a business viability assessment. As an entrepreneur herself, she knows the uphill struggles and setbacks that many find deterring, but she aims to provide workable solutions to move past challenges. Through due diligence and incorporating sound strategies, Elsa has enabled businesses to exceed their projected sales forecast and maintain sustainability. LinkedIn profile.

Laurie Bernard: a business growth specialist, Laurie has been working with Portobello Business Centre for over 20 years delivering business training, consultancy, advice, and mentoring. He specialises in marketing and general common-sense business advice and has been described as dynamic, motivational, inspirational, and knowledgeable. Read more here or visit his LinkedIn profile.

Keith Nicholson: Keith worked for NatWest Bank for 40 years, mostly working in the branch network before moving into Business Banking in 1995. After spending many years supporting Branch Managers, he became a Business Advisor in Croydon where he spent 3 years advising start-up clients. He then moved up to a Business Relationship Manager position looking after a portfolio of 200 SME customers. Again an advisory role with lending responsibility which involved credit analysis, assessing business plans, financials, and forecasts relating to borrowing requests. For the past 10 years he has worked in the Corporate and Commercial Division, still in a relationship role, but with a smaller number of clients. Still an advisory role, but more focused on lending and looking at other avenues for funding, including private equity, crowd funding, asset finance, and invoice finance. LinkedIn profile.

If you have any questions, please contact us at We are reviewing this Project on a regular basis and we invite all EXISTING registrants to book their remaining one-to-one appointments in a timely manner as the availability of appointments is limited.

To find the upcoming funded webinars under this Project please visit our events page

About LCRF:

The LCRF is administered by City Bridge Trust, the funding arm of the City of London Corporation’s charity bridge House Estates, working with London Funders and several other funders to support London’s charities and civil society groups affected by Covid-19.

The City of London Corporation is calling for donations to the LCRF, established through its main charity Bridge House Estates, to support London’s charities and civil society groups affected by Covid-19 and will be administered through its charitable funder City Bridge Trust.

The LCRF website can be found here: