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Nebula Labs Ltd: Technology start up used small business grant to help pay their supply chain

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Case studies, Funding and support

This blog post was updated 28 May 2020.

Innovative technology start-up, Nebula Labs, is a Newcastle-based business employing 7 members of staff.

Specialising in mobile app development, infrastructure development, and health and fitness sectors, Dylan McKee, co-founder and CEO of Nebula Labs Ltd discusses how the small business grant has enabled him to adapt his business to a work from home model, ensuring the business can survive the coronavirus pandemic.

“We received our small business grant from Newcastle City Council, which has helped us to pay our suppliers and partners; many of whom are local small business, freelancers and SMEs.

Using the grant, we’ve also been able to look at our business development, enabling us to adapt to the new remote world we’re in. All 7 employees are working from home and we’ve implemented flexible hours, so the team can work in a way which suits their lifestyle, commitments and wellbeing. We’ve also been running team-wide virtual social events to keep everyone in the loop, which has been a great help towards keeping morale high.

Adapting to the change in our customers’ needs, we now offer as much rapid support as we can, for example helping North Tyneside Council to postpone and reschedule their Mouth of the Tyne music festival to 2021. We have also helped the NHS by making special coronavirus-related training for the use of PPE (personal protective equipment) and other public health matters available to the clinical skills training app, Geeky Medics.

Our current focus lies heavily in health, home fitness and wellbeing, as well as EdTech (educational technology) and distance learning. Having the small business grant has helped us provide these important services, continue payments to our suppliers, and protect jobs.”

If you run a business and would like to know which of the coronavirus support schemes you are eligible for, you can use the business support finder tool. It takes just minutes to complete and will help you easily find support for your business.

Video transcript

Dylan Mckee (Co-founder, Nebula Labs):

Hi, I'm Dylan Mckee, I'm the co-founder of Nebula Labs. We're a technology software development company based in Newcastle city centre. And we've recently received the government's Small Business Rates Relief COVID-19 relief grant from Newcastle City Council.

I've been thoroughly impressed by the process so far. It's been really fast, really efficient and only a minor number of forms to have to fill in, which is really good as a busy SME manager at this time.

And, having the grant processed so quickly, within sort of 5 to 10 working days, has been really beneficial and really allowed us to pay our suppliers and our city centre rent on time, and early in many cases to our supplier, which is really good because many of our suppliers are regional SMEs themselves, or freelancers, so it's been good to keep their cashflow going and to be able to pay them early in many cases which has helped them as well.

And also it's been great to be able to spend some of the grant on being able to afford further business development time, so that we can come up with a plan to be able to get through these tough times and kind of look ahead and work out how our business can change over the next few months to be more compatible with the new normal that we now live in of distributed working, remote working and working from home.

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  1. Comment by Marcin posted on

    How about ANY help towards private clinics and dentists? They are excluded from help at both a business grant as well as business rates holiday. They may get a grant only if they have a single building and a one which is literally tiny (to be eligible for SBBR first - as this is the requirement to get the grant). In case of partnerships they are also exluded from income protection programmes.
    Why are you not helping private healthcare? Especially in a time where seeing majority of patients is in fact forbidden?

  2. Comment by Michael Dodds. posted on

    Helping people/businesses with a rates number is great, it’s obviously been a big help to those businesses in receipt of it and I’m one of them.

    But it’s not just about me, me, me, the government needs to pay attention, much more attention to the businesses which have not received the grant, the businesses which don’t have a rates number, the businesses who exist in a premises that’s houses multiple businesses. We need to help them and help them quickly before they go to the wall, before their employees get put on the dole, before the high street’s are further damaged.


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