Devon & Plymouth Chamber of Commerce leads the way in supporting businesses and facilitating trade. To do this we must remain robustly responsive to our members’ needs and share accurate and appropriate advice and information, especially during challenging times.
As such and after careful consideration, we have made the decision to postpone some of our events and others will be available digitally while we keep the situation under close review. The health and well-being of our members and staff is paramount and we are sure you will understand that this is a sensible, proportionate and responsible move. Our team is in the process of notifying delegates booked on these events and any money already paid will be honoured for the new dates.
Devon & Plymouth Chamber is still very much open for business although we have asked our staff to refrain from attending external meetings at this time. We have also undertaken a full review of our systems and are able to transfer all our operations to home-working if necessary.
We know there are huge concerns regarding the potential impact of Coronavirus and we are doing all we can to support the business community through these challenging times. Actions we are taking include:
There is a dedicated Coronavirus section on the Devon & Plymouth Chamber website, which is being updated on a daily basis and includes links to official Government information and Public Health advice.
The Heart of the South West Growth Hub also offers official guidance on its website, which you can view here.
We will be innovating the way we deliver our services, including webcasting some events, video broadcasting and sharing best practice to support our members.
We share the concerns of business owners regarding loss of income, particularly in the case of mandated closure and, in partnership with British Chambers of Commerce, we are writing to the Prime Minster and our MP’s pushing for urgent financial support for small businesses.
In terms of supporting and lobbying for business, it's important we have a clear understanding of the impact of Coronavirus on business and we’d be grateful if you would notify us of any direct impact you feel and share best practice. We are completely anonymising this information before sharing it with Government and local authorities. This can be submitted to email@example.com and we emphasise we are not disclosing the names of businesses to any external organisation.
Communication is essential so please do keep in touch. We will share relevant, important and accurate information to business, but will not bombard you with unnecessary, confusing or complex messages.
Chamber CEO Stuart Elford said: “Clearly these are testing times and we recognise the many concerns people have, but there is no need to panic. Instead we must support each other within the business community and I urge businesses to take positive steps such as buying locally, paying suppliers on time and collaborating where possible. We urge businesses to calmly assess risks and take appropriate and proportionate action. There will inevitably be impact as we go through this situation, but it will pass and the business community will as usual find innovative solutions and come out stronger in the long run. There’s never been a better or more important time to be part of the Chamber business community and to get connected.”
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