More than 40,000 businesses across South West England contacted Business West seeking urgent help via its Trading Through Coronavirus service.
Launched on 16 March, Trading Through Coronavirus is Business West’s cross organisational response to the coronavirus pandemic, providing expert information and guidance to businesses in addition to capturing detailed intelligence to guide the economic response to the crisis at a local and national level.
At the centre of Trading Through Coronavirus is an online portal that features answers to frequently asked questions, up to the minute expert legal and financial advice, the facility to submit questions direct to Business West advisors and even a regular video and podcast series.
In recent days, Business West has launched a survey running in tandem with the Trading Through Coronavirus hub in order to establish an evidence base reflecting the true impact of the coronavirus pandemic on businesses and the economy in the region. With 500 responses received so far, the results of the survey will be fed back to national government via British Chambers of Commerce who are in regular contact with the Chancellor.
Business West’s Managing Director Phil Smith said: “The unprecedented challenges businesses face has generated an unparalleled demand for trusted advice, information and guidance, and as a result businesses have been coming to us in their droves.
“As the crisis unfolded, we at Business West moved quickly to fill the information void and launched our Trading Through Coronavirus service. In just over three weeks over 40,000 businesses have engaged with us in one way or another, through visiting our website, registering for updates or taking part in our survey.
“With each of the local authorities in our region signposting businesses to us, we have become the go-to resource for business in South West England at what is an incredibly difficult time for the regional and national economy.
“Our route into Westminster, the mobilisation of our members to provide pro-bono legal and financial advice and our ability to quickly answer the questions that business throws at us has enabled us to cultivate this unique position, not only as the region’s largest business organisation, but as business’ most trusted when it comes to navigating their companies through the coronavirus pandemic.”