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COMMENT


THE LAST WORD


DAWN EDWARDS, Chamber President, on the issues that are worth talking about


SPRING FORWARD Some of you may feel that the title here was written before these latest challenges and unprecedented times were upon us, however this isn’t the case. Uncertainty and the pace of change is creating


challenges for each and every business and individual. The Covid-19 virus and its effects are


indiscriminate and are affecting every aspect of our way of lives including, of course, our professional lives. So many of our members are telling us that


they are concerned about managing the current situation and are busy adapting and changing their business models, developing remote working methods to allow staff to stay safe and following the Government advice by staying at home.


‘The Chamber has adapted swiftly to enable lines of communication to ensure that each and every one of our members – large and small - can access the help and support they need’


Health care and some sectors of public


services require workers to be physically present, and this too presents new challenges in the current situation with a need to balance the needs of the community with the needs of the business and, most importantly, keeping staff safe. Resilience, both personally and in business, has


never been more critical. The Government is giving daily updates which affect every aspect of work and life. The Chamber has adapted swiftly to enable lines of communication to ensure that each and every one of our members – large and small - can access the help and support they need in terms of up to date, and accurate information. While there are many aspects of the current situation which we can’t control, good


94 business network April 2020


information will allow business to look ahead, and use the Government support available. And while we may, for the time being, be


unable to bring our members together face to face, we are offering video conferences, question and answer sessions, and even networking via platforms such as Zoom and MS Teams. I know that many of our members too are


relying on technology to allow them to communicate with their customers, partners and supply chains and there is support available from the Chamber through a series of webinars to help businesses adapt to these new temporary ways of working. This programme can be found on the Chamber website. A good reference tool is the Chamber’s dedicated Coronavirus Hub, which is updated regularly and can be found on the homepage – www.emc-dnl.co.uk. Despite finding themselves in unchartered


territory, many businesses are turning their attentions to helping others. There are examples of businesses adapting their production lines to


bring critical supplies to the NHS, using their skills to help set up community volunteer groups, and donating time and resources to bring people together. “Isolation” has taken on a new meaning, and


the use of technology and online connectivity is being used to bring together every section of society. From education to exercise, there are examples everywhere of changes in the ways we are working and experiencing our lives. We have some of the most innovative and


creative businesses in the world here in the East Midlands, which makes us well placed to grasp the opportunities which reveal themselves over the coming months. In the words of Alan Kay: “The best way to


predict the future is to invent it”. Innovation is often borne out of necessity and by working together, and supporting each other, the business community can and will come through this. As members of the Chamber, please access our services – you really aren’t alone in this.


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