We knew that a second wave was highly likely and we believe the majority of business owners, having invested much time and money in additional technology and safety measures for their teams since March, are prepared for the next phase - on the whole.
But that is what Entrepreneurs do so well... they find solutions in the most extraordinary situations. They thrive and develop new products and services. Let us not be shy about this reality as in many ways it is what contributes to motivating us towards hope, growth and sustainable busi-nesses for the future
We are not particularly fond of 'cool management speak', but we understand and recognise that during such a monumental societal and business change, positive metaphors for hope – such as 'pivot' – are hung onto for dear life with most of us having felt that we have been unceremoniously thrown around on the high seas, then spectacularly dumped on our backsides on a desert island since CV19 arrived.
Like many businesses, we had to do our own ‘pivot’, as we took our entire business online a week before lockdown to protect our members. This allowed us to speed up the emotional, strategic and technical support they needed to cope with the immediate challenges of business survival.
From March 23rd our members attended 100 peer workgroups in 100 days, and a further 40 since then (typically we run 120 in a year) and we responded to the chaos around our members by providing speedy, plain English analysis of government support and regular updates on the changing rules on CBILS, BBLs, Furlough and grant opportunities, whilst increasing our support through the emotional challenges and decisions facing them.
We did not charge for this additional work and our fantastic advisory team have given their time voluntarily to support our members. With our advice and direct help, members have accessed well over £5m worth of grants and loans.
In addition to taking our peer workgroups online, we also provided 52 emergency clinics and 32 one-to-one support session for MDs.
We have all spent valuable hours debating the pros and cons of the pandemic with colleagues, family and friends, wishing it will all 'go back to normal' but now realising and accepting that this will not happen for most.
96% of MDHUB Members have told us that they would love to return to a mixture of online and face to face peer groups, where they can do so safely.
Whilst incredibly thankful for the brilliance of technology during this time to keep us connected (and to be brutal – where on earth would we all have been without it), we also know that the novelty of Zoom is wearing thin for many. We have all experienced the very human element of stray pets, children and half naked relatives unexpectedly appearing on our screens, although that may relieve the mind-numbing hours of staring at a screen!
We miss the powerful nuances of body language, positive human energy and structure and it may be that successfully managing the psychological impact of the pandemic on their teams will be one of the biggest challenges for business leaders in the months ahead.
We will support them in whatever way we can, we are proud of our team’s ability to deliver, whatever the circumstances.
AND FINALLY – GOOD NEWS
We are delighted to announce that we have been awarded the Coast to Capital Peer Networks Programme (funded by BEIS – Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) which is an intensive, 6 month Covid recovery business programme for 110 businesses devastated by the pandemic in the Coast to Capital area, but particularly around Gatwick, Crawley, East Surrey and in coastal West Sussex.
The programme is open to companies who have:
• Operated for 1 year
• Have at least 5 Employees
• A turnover of at least £100,000
• An aspiration to improve
Applications are also welcome from exporters and scale up companies who fit the above criteria. The programme will run between October 2020 – March 31st 2021 and will provide online peer learning and 1-2-1 support.
If you are interested in applying for this programme please email Lou Williams Growth Manager at Coast To Capital Growth HUB: firstname.lastname@example.org