Welcome from Warwickshire County Council chief executive Monica Fogarty
Hello and welcome to a special edition of Warwickshire Means Business designed to bring you all the latest advice and information in the light of the Covid-19 outbreak.
Quite suddenly we have been pitched into unprecedented times. First and foremost, I hope that you and your loved ones are keeping safe and well.
This a worrying time for all of us and I know the strict social-distancing measures introduced by the Government make life very unusual and difficult. But if we all adhere to those measures diligently, the sooner we will come through this tough situation and start to regain some normality.
Covid-19 has affected every aspect of our lives and businesses are taking a big hit with many having to close their doors temporarily. At Warwickshire County Council we are doing, and will continue to do, absolutely everything we can to support our business community, employers and employees. Please see our business briefing which contains a comprehensive round-up of national and local advice.
As always, we are taking a coordinated approach with our partners locally - the Growth Hub, Chamber of Commerce, Federation of Small Businesses and District & Borough Councils - as well as, in this case of course, the Government. Lots of support is there for you - please see the links in our main article to see which support offer is relevant to your business.
It is important to remember that the economy is not closed. While always complying with the restrictions in place, it is vital that the economy continues to operate, not least in support of the infrastructure and services that are required during this difficult time. The County Council has therefore pulled together a helpful good practice guide on how business can remain open and safe where it is appropriate to do so.
I would like to thank you all for your brilliant response so far. For those people having to temporarily close small businesses into which they have poured so much time and effort is very hard to bear. Those businesses are part of the lifeblood of our nation and, with the resilience and adaptability that they have always shown, I am confident that they will remain so.
It is also amazing to see the community spirit that comes through so strongly when we face difficult times. There is an excellent example here, where local businesses rallied to support children in need of stationery as they start a period of home schooling. In a similar vein, it is also great to see a range of local manufacturing companies rise to the challenge of providing much needed ventilators.
Many of you will be aware of the difficulties regarding the supply of Personal Protective Equipment, and the importance of this to enable our key workers in health and social care to do the amazing work that they are doing. Specifically, we are looking for supplies of fluid repellent surgical masks (type IIR); FFP2 masks; goggles/visors/safety spectacles; antibacterial hand gel (> 60% alcohol); and aprons and gloves. If you can be of any assistance, in any way, please do contact us at: CV19PPE@warwickshire.gov.uk.
The business community in Warwickshire has so much to be proud of in so many ways. The way you have responded to this situation is another of those. Thank you all.