Business News

Sponsored by: Birmingham Education Partnership

Helping schools and colleges during Isolation

By Mike Pipe, senior enterprise coordinator

Schools and colleges have been busy making sure struggling families still get Free School Meals, putting in place plans to educate the children of key workers, and ensuring vulnerable children continue to get support and care. Managing the implications from the cancellation of GCSE and A- Level exams and pupils transitions also sit high on the worry list. But beyond these immediate priorities, we know they’re also working hard to ensure that – as far as possible in these uncertain times – all young people continue to enjoy all the other benefits that a good quality education provides. And we’re here to help when and however appropriate to do so. Like every organisation, our

work has been radically impacted by the disruption caused by Covid-19 and the need to maintain social distancing. But we will continue to support schools and colleges to provide young people and their parents with quality careers education and guidance in whatever way we can, working with the network of local partners and providers across the country to do so. At the moment, we are

focusing on pulling together and disseminating existing ideas and resources that can be used by schools, colleges and students while we’re all having to work remotely. In the longer term, we’re thinking about ways we can continue to deliver our mission of (virtually) connecting schools, colleges, young people, employers and training providers.

If you are interested in supporting schools, please contact Mike Pipe, Senior Enterprise Coordinator at or call on 07717316661


Chamber leads call for changes to transport plan

Council chiefs have moved to assure the business community that its views will be taken into consideration before a radical transport plan is introduced. The Chamber called for Birmingham City Council

to make a series of changes to its draft Transport Plan after consultation with members, in order to support businesses affected from the Covid-19 crisis. The Transport Plan was designed to support the

council’s targets to become carbon neutral by 2030, reduce road accidents in residential areas, connect people to new job opportunities and reinvigorate the city centre and neighbouring town centres. Measures the Chamber called for included:

• Reviewing the start date of the Clean Air Zone towards the end of the year, given firms will still likely be feeling the repercussions of Covid-19

• Extending mitigation measures for firms based within the Zone who have been affected by Covid-19

• Offering a series of exemptions for businesses who would be affected by the introduction of the proposed Workplace Parking Levy

Councillor Waseem Zaffar, head of transport and

environment at the council, and his senior team reached out to the Chamber to hear the feedback from the business community. The council offered reassurance that a number of the points made were being taken on board. The organisations will now work in partnership to

assess the impact that the measures listed in the plan are likely to have on local firms and the support they need to adapt to the programme.

Paul Faulkner, chief executive of the Chambers,

said: “We know the fallout from the coronavirus crisis has completely altered the landscape of the city and it was pleasing to hear that the council recognise the need to be flexible in their approach in order to help businesses through this extremely difficult period.” Councillor Zaffar said: “The current situation is

having a profound impact on the economy of the city of Birmingham. Last month, I asked the Government for a postponement to the Clean Air Zone launch, which has been accepted, so that businesses would have additional time to prepare once the immediate challenges around Covid-19 have been tackled. “We are pleased to be working with Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce on ensuring that the recovery of the city is done in a way that continues to address some of its deep-seated challenges.”

Global real estate to recover quickly

Recovery of investment into global real estate is expected to be sharper and faster following the Covid-19 crisis than the period after the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) according to real estate advisor, Colliers International. The firm, which has a regional

Get creative in lockdown

PLOTT Creative are doing their bit to bring positivity and mindfulness into people’s lives during the Covid-19 lockdown – through a series of arty colouring-in sheets. The sheets, created by PLOTT’s resident illustrator Sabina Gran, feature

topical creations including fundraising hero Captain Tom Moore (pictured), the NHS and Netflix sensation the Tiger King. The Sutton Coldfield Chamber members say the simple act of colouring

in can help to alleviate anxiety, reduce stress and cultivate a deep sense of calm. The colouring-in sheets can be downloaded at

office in Birmingham, notes that although a global recession is to be expected there are glimmers of hope with the latest China Manufacturing PMI data showing stabilisation in March following a fall to record low levels in February. Tony Horrell, chief executive of

Colliers International UK and Ireland, commented: “This level of shock to the global markets is unprecedented and we are seeing an indiscriminate effect across the world, including in economies that were relatively untouched during the GFC such as China and Australia. “The good news is that the

bounce back we expect of each of these is relatively short and recovery is set to be sharp.”

Waseem Zaffar

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