With over £118,000 paid out in March, NBSL has been able to provide much needed funding throughout the COVID-19 crisis – often supporting SMEs that needed to update their business models through the use of digital technology.

The sheer determination of Durham businesses to adapt during the COVID-19 crisis has been incredible to witness and one Durham-based business has changed its digital offer to reflect the new online needs of its client base.

Langley Park-based Tayloredfit Physio provides physiotherapy and craniosacral therapy services, as well as Pilates and Yoga classes, and was looking to enhance its online presence.

Owner Vicky Smith said: “We initially wanted to review our existing website and add online booking functionality. As a growing business, every little helps with projects like this so we were very keen to access up to 40 per cent towards the costs of the website revamp.

“We applied online for the funding and following a quick phone call and initial meeting, our grant funding was approved very quickly.”

As the Tayloredfit website was about to go live, however, the company decided to close its doors just before the country entered lockdown.

Vicky added: “Our business is based almost one hundred per cent on face to face or physical contact, and we wanted to minimise risk for our staff and customers.

“We had to assess what parts of our operation we were able to take online. We started to offer virtual consultations and Pilates membership, running weekly classes using Facebook groups and video conferencing.  The speedy response we received from NBSL when asking if we could adapt the funding to suit the changing needs of our website to serve our clientbase as much appreciated – and provided the support we craved in this crisis.”

Tayloredfit Physio is run by Vicky with her husband Mark – both former NHS workers who have volunteered to go back and help out in the fight against Coronavirus.

The business has grown from just Vicky on her own in 2014 to a team of over 25, including three employed receptionists and a number of self-employed therapists who work from Tayloredfit’s custom-renovated Baptist chapel on Langley Park Front Street.

Vicky said: “We also sell products such as reed diffusers and aroma burners at the chapel, so we managed to get those online too.”

“Our whole business has been forced to completely pivot and we’re so thankful that we had the funding from NBSL and that the website was already at a stage where it could quickly be adapted to help us make that transition.”