usiness in the Community (BITC) is the oldest and largest business-led membership organisation dedicated to responsible business. Created nearly 40 years ago by HRH The Prince of Wales, how does it champion responsible business, especially in times of crisis?
What does BITC do?
BITC works to inspire, engage and challenge its members, mobilising its collective strength as a force for good in society to:
• Create a skilled, inclusive workforce today and for the future
• Build thriving communities in which to live and work
• Innovate to repair and sustain our planet
It has a vibrant membership of hundreds of businesses, large and small, connected by the conviction that their success is inextricably linked to society’s prosperity.
What is The Prince’s Business Emergency Resilience Group?
The Prince’s Business Emergency Resilience Group (BERG) is a BITC campaign. It supports small businesses to prepare for business disruptions and enables larger businesses to provide needed support during emergencies.
The BERG Leadership Team consists of leading businesses across the UK, such as ASDA, Aviva, BT, RBS and SecuriGroup. The network offers expertise in many areas of everyday business that are important in an emergency. The Leadership Team is supported by strategic partners including charities such as the British Red Cross and government departments, including the Cabinet Office.
How can business be involved with emergencies?
BITC’s Local Resilience Support initiative aims to develop a more coordinated business response to emergencies across the UK, by providing support to Local Resilience Forums (LRFs). LRFs are multi-agency partnerships consisting of key emergency response agencies, including the police and fire services. LRFs are supported by other organisations such as utility companies and increasingly, the voluntary and community sector.
BITC’s pledge is “to use influence and collaboration to urgently consider and seek to deliver any requests a local resilience body considers important and will make a difference”. This pledge is communicated to LRFs through BITC Emergency Volunteers. SecuriGroup established the processes for business support following a pilot project in 2016/2017 and has provided its 24-hour control room for use during emergencies.
Who are BITC Emergency Volunteers?
BITC Emergency Volunteers are recruited from BITC’s membership. Their primary role is to communicate BITC’s pledge to LRFs and support BITC during an emergency.
How does a request work?
During and following emergencies BITC facilitates assistance from its members to LRFs dealing with crises by matching their resources with identified local needs.
This support complements the existing response to emergencies. Where a need for additional resources (expertise or assets) is identified, BITC brokers non-monetary donations. One example of support from BITC members includes sourcing four-wheel-drive vehicles on behalf of the Scottish Government during Beast from the East in 2018.
How does BITC help small businesses prepare for disruptions?
Would You Be Ready? is an emotive campaign that encourages businesses to think about the impact of disruptions, such as floods and storms, cyber attacks and civil unrest on their business.
It encourages businesses to take the Readiness Test at: www.wouldyoubeready.org.uk
© CI TY S ECUR I TY MAGAZ INE – AUTUMN 2 0 1 9 www. c i t y s e c u r i t yma g a z i n e . c om >
The Readiness Test consists of simple scenario- based questions, which results in a free Resilience Starter Kit that includes useful tips to help a small business be better prepared.
The resources for ‘Would You Be Ready?’ (including stills and animations) and guidance are available for free on request. The campaign can be tracked on social media by using #WouldYouBeReady.
Andy Hammond BITC Emergency Volunteer for London Royal Bank of Scotland
Where can I go for more information? If you are interested in finding out more about BITC, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
How Business in the Community (BITC) supports Local Resilience Forums
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