Business West launches dedicated portal to help businesses trade through Coronavirus

Phil Smith, Business West

Business West has established a new service, Trading Through Coronavirus, to help businesses navigate their way through the toughest times that the commercial world has known for a generation.

At the centre of the new service offer is the Trading Through Coronavirus hub – an online portal giving businesses practical advice and guidance, the facility to submit questions via a web form and signposting to vital financial information and resources, such as the government’s Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme.

From the same team behind the award-winning Trading Through Brexit service, which helped thousands of businesses prepare for life after Brexit, Trading Through Coronavirus will expand its offer in the coming weeks to include interactive webinars with expert lawyers, business advisors and accountants and virtual networking events to connect local businesses, enabling them to share best practices and resources at this difficult time.

The detailed economic intelligence gathered as a result of Trading Through Coronavirus will also be fed back to Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, via the British Chambers of Commerce – the body that represents Business West and its members at a national level. Locally, the team behind Trading Through Coronavirus is in daily contact with local authorities across the South West of England to enable them to shape their economic response to the coronavirus pandemic and prioritise areas of core business need.

Phil Smith, Managing Director at Business West, said: “Less than two weeks ago, few of us could’ve anticipated the damage currently being wrought by the coronavirus (COVID-19) to our businesses, communities and the economy.

“It is scarcely believable that otherwise successful businesses before the coronavirus pandemic emerged now face an uphill struggle simply to keep the lights on, yet, that is the sad reality which we find ourselves in.

“These are truly unprecedented times for businesses and the economy, and the challenges are grave, but we believe businesses shouldn’t have to face these challenges alone, which is why we’ve launched Trading Through Coronavirus.

“Providing detailed practical advice and guidance on everything from Coronavirus Business Interruption Loans and small business grants to statutory sick pay and working from home, our main objective with Trading Through Coronavirus is to protect the businesses and livelihoods put at risk by coronavirus in this region.”