pro-manchester COVID-19 CEO Update

Tuesday, 24th March 2020

Blog by Sam Booth, pro-manchester CEO

What a week it has been for all of us. A lot has happened in a very short space of time, not least the rather sobering address made by the Prime Minister last night enforcing tighter restrictions on our day to day activities and leaving the home.  As I write this, I have just received a text message from GOV.UK insisting I must stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives. This is important, we must follow the guidelines and act responsibly.

As you know, we immediately closed the office doors to pro-manchester towers following last week’s announcements and the team have been working from home, very successfully, ever since.

We conducted our first team meeting remotely last Thursday and collectively we pulled together a comprehensive plan to ensure that our members and network have access to the most up to date advice and support to help them through these unprecedented times.

We have also been working hard to ensure we can still provide value to our members now that our physical events programme is on hold.

If you received our newsletter yesterday you will have seen we have introduced a number of webinars that will not only offer weekly updates and support regarding COVID-19 but also a whole host of other topics to help move your businesses forward – https://www.pro-manchester.co.uk/events/. There will be lots more to come in the next few weeks so do keep your eyes peeled.

The first of our weekly COVID-19 webinars with Grayling PR will be taking place tomorrow at 4pm in order try and help you keep up to date on the latest advice and guidance. We appreciate that staying on top of all the communications is difficult so these half hour sessions are designed to summarise the key points from regional, national and international bodies, bringing in expert guests where appropriate. There is also an opportunity to put your questions forward, either via the Q&A function or just email me directly. Please click here to view more details and sign up.

We are keen to use this time to keep developing our online services and give members the opportunity to keep on building relationships. Send us your blogs, tips, ideas for webinars and podcasts etc. and let’s encourage as much online networking as possible.

It is at times like this that we must all come together. Do what Manchester does best and collaborate. Over the past few weeks I have been taking part in a number of calls with the strategic partners in GM in order to share intelligence and ensure that we are all pulling together in the same direction. Our Mayor Andy Burnham also joins in on these calls and together we are actively making plans to come up with initiatives and mechanisms to help businesses survive in this fast-moving environment. I will do my utmost to ensure I keep members up to date on all that comes out of these calls by way of support and advice.

In order to help us ensure we are providing the right level of support for you and your businesses during these calls we have pulled together a short survey so I can feed your comments back directly.

Please click here to complete the survey and have your say.

We have also been asked to share a call out for COVID -19 innovations and manufacturers. Please go to – https://www.pro-manchester.co.uk/call-for-covid-19-innovations-and-manufacturers/ for more information.

Finally, in case you missed it, the government have developed a dedicated website to help business access the right support and advice – https://www.businesssupport.gov.uk/

I’ll sign off today offering my thanks to all of our members and network. Your unwavering offers of continued support have been heart warming and most encouraging during these difficult times for us all. My thanks also to the pro-manchester board and the amazing pro-manchester team who have been working tirelessly to get everything in order and doing it all with a big smile on their faces.

I shall be sharing my weekly updates every Tuesday from now on but if you wish to contact me in the meantime please do not hesitate to email me – sam.booth@pro-manchester.co.uk

Stay home, stay healthy and look after yourselves.