North-East businesses have joined a national campaign to help Britain and its most vulnerable citizens pull through the coronavirus crisis.

Former Cabinet Minister, Justine Greening, who launched the C-19 Business Pledge with entrepreneur David Harrison, welcomed the North-East backing for the national scheme, which is encouraging businesses to join the coronavirus national effort by pledging to go the extra mile, helping their employees, customers and local communities to get through the crisis.

The initiative has already received the backing of employers collectively representing almost one million people across Britain.

The campaign is also being backed by Ian Levy MP and Peter Gibson MP. Newcastle-based True Potential LLP, University of Newcastle, University of Teesside and Co-operative Group have signed up to the C-19 Business Pledge.

Other supporting businesses include BP, National Grid, Asda, Everton Football Club, Drax Power, DLA Piper, Persimmon Homes, Compass Group and Virgin Care.

Employers who sign up to the C-19 Business Pledge give their backing to provide extra support in three main areas – their employees, customers and communities.

Supporting their own employees could include practical support and advice on financial security, mental health, personal wellbeing as well as reintegration back into work for those who have experienced an extended period away from the workplace.

Where possible, businesses could have specialist teams dedicated to supporting customers if they are having problems, such as those facing repayment difficulties and vulnerable customers, as RBS has done.

And thirdly, over the coming months, with factors like loneliness and isolation to be considered, there will be an increased need for communities to come together with practical support. This could include things like food deliveries, collections and financial assistance for organisations that specialise in supporting vulnerable people.

For more on the C-19 Business Pledge visit

Justine Greening said: “With the future of many employers hanging in the balance and incredibly tough times unfolding in sectors across the North East businesses face many incredibly difficult decisions.

“But those companies who are able to, can have a huge role in battling the impact of coronavirus and make a real difference in these uniquely challenging times.

“In spite of everything, lots of businesses have already shown amazing initiative and commitment to helping people affected by coronavirus. The C-19 Business Pledge is all about encouraging as many businesses as possible to get involved and then helping them do that faster and better by sharing all the great work that’s already been done on our website, The early response has been incredible and I’ll do everything I can to help to connect up British business to play its role.”