Significant challenges for the business community are coming – but support is out there, use it.
That’s the message from Karl Pemberton, Tees Valley chair of the Institute of Directors in light of the rapidly changing COVID-19 pandemic.
“Never in peace time have we faced an economic fight like this one,” said chancellor Rishi Sunak as the impact threatens our day to day lives, working practices, business and industries – and is likely to for many months to come.
The exact scale of that impact is uncertain and is likely to remain so, said the IoD, which has moved quickly to advise and support businesses going forward.
The Tees Valley business community is a tight one, believes Karl, and that will stand our region in good stead.
“Clearly, most of us are going to experience significant difficulties and challenges during the coming months. Thankfully, I believe that the Tees Valley business community is a tight one, and I am sure we will collectively come together to help each other far more than most,” he said.
“Despite the best planning efforts of the best leaders, directors and management, it is highly unlikely that many businesses will have had a well-prepared plan for such circumstances. It is therefore imperative that businesses are pro-active, dynamic and communicate without delay what their plans may be with staff, suppliers and clients alike.
“Many resources are available to you in this regard if you are struggling – through the likes of the IoD website, central Government website and more locally through the Tees Valley Combined Authority website.”
Practically, there are steps businesses can and must take quickly, said Karl.
“We all appreciate that the pace of development is rapid and I would encourage all businesses to communicate with each other and offer support. Social media (LinkedIn and Twitter especially) are proving to be great mediums for gathering information and offers of support.
“Check in regularly, and more importantly, if you’re not on there, sign up ASAP.
“As the local chair for the IoD in the Tees Valley, I have a direct route to central government and have already expressed the concerns of our business community to them.
“If you are a member and need support, please speak up.
“If you are not a member but would like to know more, do get in touch. The IoD are there to support you. I am there to support you. Let’s get through this challenge together.”
The IoD recommends someone in each and every business regularly reviews the government’s advice for employers; guidance is updated frequently and helps with the practicalities of staffing and necessary actions to take.
Remote working guidance is also available and there is a section on government support with a summary of the measures announced by chancellor Rishi Sunak in March’s budget and his following announcement.