Gillingham Chamber of Commerce and Industry | 3. Relaunch
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3. Relaunch

31 May 3. Relaunch

“Every new beginning comes from some other beginnings end” – Seneca

Monday June 1st sees a significant move towards the lifting of lockdown, but how will this affect the businesses in Gillingham and the surrounding area. Please note, however, the political advice and local landscape is rapidly moving all the time so checking current rules and guidelines is essential.

For many business owners, this may be a gradual process and much like starting their business again.  It is important to understand what we expect and our customers need particularly in a constantly changing environment.

Gillingham Chamber of Commerce and Industry are unable to give specific advice but we can point you to places where help might be available.  Each member company has to look at their own individual needs for their staff, client and business.

Gillingham Chamber of Commerce and Industry are lucky to have among their members, companies available for help, advice and support with our needs.

Andrews and Palmer, TS Accounting and Freestone are all Accountant members who can guide businesses through some of the myriad of different grants and loans available.  Cassandra the local business manager at Lloyds Bank can also guide your business through bank loans.

Farnfields, Rutters and Maclachlans are all solicitor members who can offer advice on legal status. This can range from business law, legal disputes, business splits and futureproofing the business if the boss is incapacitated or worse.

Starting out in business was difficult not just in financial ways but the most important aspect of any business is to tell people you are open for them and to invite them in.  This applies as much for this relaunch of open doors as it did when we took our first tentative steps into a commercial world.  Now more than ever Rocher Marketing, Global Media and Entertainment, Gillingham & Shaftesbury News and Gillingham & Shaftesbury Guide can all offer a way forward to informing your clients that you are back in business.

A big part of this opening will be our ability to conform to the changing social distancing measures and protection for our staff and the general public. A new hybrid worker will emerge from this who can work from home, part or full-time.  Offices will need to adapt to allow limited staff and clients safely.  Working hours or patterns may remain reduced or vary according to the continuing changing Government advice.

We have links here to some of the Government portals for individual situations.  Gillingham Chamber of Commerce is not recommending these but allowing company owners to access them from a single page.   Each company is unique and therefore requires their own unique help or guidance.

The furlough scheme has been a godsend in retaining staff but as the Government reduces this how will a business manage to pay all the staff if their customer base is depleted.  They have announced an extension but there are changes to how it will be administered. This will be different to varying sectors of industry.

There are several loans and grants available but it is so important to read the small print.  Loans will need repayment.  Grants have tight criteria but don’t require paying back.

Nobody knows what is right. There is no precedent for this situation. We do know however that we are all in this together and together we will survive.  The changes we make to our working practices may just be temporary, they may become long term or they may stay permanently but we all need to be open to changes.   Now is a good time to support fellow members and let them support you.  We will all need our networks more than ever over the next few months.

Thankfully Dorset has had a low number of cases.  Travel restrictions may have helped in preventing opportunities to bring it here.  With the lifting of distance restriction this may change and our new working practices will need to reflect how we deal with an influx of customers.

Whenever we decide to open our doors to the public and in what reduced or different way please let or know.   They can include your information in the ongoing social media programming and tell people you are happy to welcome them in your own way.

“The best way to predict the future is to create it.”  Peter Drucker

Promoting your business and raising your profile. #lovegillingham #ourtownyourbusiness