21 Mar COVID19: A WEEK OF CHANGE
It’s certainly been a week of change for many of us this week as we have seen many changes across the world with the outbreak of COVID19.
I wanted to update you with what action has been taken in the Kettering Borough business community for small businesses and to keep you all up to date.
COVID 19 BUSINESS INFORMATION
I felt it was key to introduce a new page on our website for our business community as an information point. This can be found in the top menu of our website and has links for businesses to search quickly. I will be updating this on a regular basis. The page is here.
DIRECT COMMUNICATION WITH GOVERNMENT
I am in receipt of up to date information from the government on a number of areas. This has been posted on social media and on various pages that I felt necessary to update you all. This has included information on vehicle MOT’s being postponed, reason behind GCSE and A levels being postponed and information on free school lunches for children. Again, as soon as I receive updates, I will post this on Facebook on our Kettering Business Network Facebook page.
FEDERATION OF SMALL BUSINESSES, ENTERPRISE NATION AND SMALL BUSINESS BRITAIN
I am in regular communication with the Regional Federation of Small Business leaders and they are fighting the corner for small businesses and the self employed. I am also in direct contact with the Founders of Enterprise Nation and Small Business Britain as well as Tony Robinson OBE who is a Micro Business champion in the UK. Again, we have regular communication channels flowing. I have also been in direct contact with the Small Business Commissioner and I will be added to communication and media releases going forward.
WEEKLY ONLINE SUPPORT GROUP
I will be leading a weekly conference call for those who are concerned about the outbreak and how this will impact businesses locally. The first one takes place on Monday at 9.00 am until 10.00 am and you can join the meeting on your phone, ipad or laptop and the link to register can be found here
GAINING HELP FOR SMALL BUSINESSES AND SELF EMPLOYED
I have been in contact with Philip Hollobone, MP for Kettering, a number of times looking for answers for our businesses. This has included understanding the situation for the self employed who have been somewhat overlooked by the UK Government at present.
Sarah Franklin from Sarah Franklin Solicitors and Chair of the Kettering Town Centre Partnership has been in direct contact with the Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak and our MP Philip Hollobone requesting further support for our small businesses and the self employed and we are awaiting the next stage.
The Kettering Town Centre Partnership leadership team are also in regular contact with each other and we will continue to do what we can do for us all.
ADJUSTING DURING COVID19
I feel we will need to keep in contact regularly with the vulnerable and elderly during this time as well as those who are disabled. It’s key these people are looked out for and we keep in regular contact with them. Adjusting to the measures about social isolation will also impact on people’s mental health and it’s key we stay positive, maybe exploring new hobbies and interests. Please do keep an eye out for each other.
With the Borough’s businesses on the close due to the outbreak of COVID19, the Red Cross are appealing for volunteers to help during the growing crisis.
RED CROSS COMMUNITY RESERVE VOLUNTEERS
I have also been in communication with the Red Cross Community Reserve Volunteers who are inviting people in our communities to consider offering their support. Further information can be found here
As the Prime Minister has said, we are in the unknown with the outbreak of COVID19. I would suggest everyone follows our social media channels and stay positive. We have seen a number of panic buy situations going on and it’s key we stay calm at present and we prioritise and re-think our lives.
We are all going to need to adjust in ways that are new to us and follow the guidance provided to us. If I can be of any help to you all, please do let me know whilst we find ourselves in this situation.
Please do think about the wonderful people we have in our local and national health service. These are the real heroes in all this and they should be applauded for their commitment to people and their professions. Thank you to the local businesses who have looked out for them already which gives us a great community with great people at the helm.
You can contact me via this website if I can help further.
Keep safe, keep smiling and keep strong.