Having to manage a business in the COVID19 era isn't easy! We got away with it for a little while longer than others in Europe and it really only overtook us on the 12th of March when the schools locked down. Movement has been dramatically reduced in the days since then as more and more cases are notified in the news. As of today (17th March) Ireland has 223 people confirmed, 2 deaths and 5 recovered.
In this blog post I wanted to give a shout out to all the bodies that are stepping up here in Ireland and around the world so far. This pandemic is far from over and I realise that more and more businesses will be challenged and possibly close, but in this time of sadness, grief and on going bad news, I wanted to highlight the good where possible.
I know jobs are being cut, long term brands closing their doors, like Laura Ashley only this week. We can only manage what is manageable at this time.
Fortunately Ireland seems to have a decent handle on this virus at the moment and we are being kept quite well informed on what to do next with our health and hygiene.
The businesses throughout the country have also been very responsive to the requests of the HSE (Health Authority) by closing or limiting hours or creating "social distancing" in their stores.
All of these measures have done the SuperValu brand a world of good and developed good sentiment for them publicly and privately. One thing I do know about the public, is their long term memory for this sort of thing.
Internationally, other companies have gone out of their way to support education whilst the kids are at home. Zoom.us have opened up their Free account to be over 40 minutes for schools and education platforms to the US, Japan, Italy, Belgium, Czech Republic, Greece, Norway, Portugal, and Switzerland and K-12 schools in the United Arab Emirates. This has all been since March 6th and they are adding to the list every few days.
Unsurprisingly the larger businesses out there are going out of their way to support the dedicated frontline workers. Here in Ireland among the first to speak up was Supermacs
Then over in Poland the hashtag #gastropomaga gained ground very quickly and a flurry of support was and will be offered to frontline workers there too.
As I'm sure you'll remember, the panic buying at the beginning of this crisis will become the most memorable moment of this time. For some reason (still unknown to me) people bought out toilet roll in droves and although there never really was a genuine shortage - they did go out of stock fairly quickly. Well over in Australia Woolworths set aside an hour for the elderly to come in and shop before the mad rush. This is now being implemented in more and more countries around the world.
As they are at most risk of Covid19 it's sensible to give them this isolated time and also gives them a chance to get out of the house without the fear of being mown down in a huge rush to shop.
These will differ from country to country so I will only highlight the Irish supports currently available.
The most recent one available was outlined here from my local Enterprise Office in Westmeath but available nationally.
If you're looking for business support, then visit, Welfare.ie and the Dept of Business, Enterprise and Innovation, lots of support for the self employed, small business and trade in general is entering the Irish market.
It will be no shock to you gentle reader that one of the greatest issues for the Covid19 era is ventilators. There simply just isn't enough! Every country around the world has had to arrange specialist construction and adaptation for this virus. Great minds in worldwide have had to get together to update, create and manufacture sufficient ventilators to see us through this time.
One of the earliest stories I came across was this one from Italy.
Now rapidly followed by the UK and Ireland:
What has most impressed me though in the last week or so is how innovators have come forward locally and stepped up very unselfishly to work towards a low cost ventilator here in Ireland. https://twitter.com/ColinJ_Keogh/status/1237865545623461891?s=20
We have truly come to see what we are made of in this crisis.
Now many businesses will have to adapt and build new streams of revenue. Many businesses locally have moved to delivery only as demonstrated by these two businesses:
I realise that not every business will have this flexibility but in times of need - it's worth exploring something you wouldn't normally consider however.
Going Live to your audience has become a much easier way to speak to them during this period, maybe its time you considered this approach? If you have any suggestions on what else to add to this blog, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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