Worcestershire working differently following Covid-19 outbreak

Piston Gin Distillery

Almost 70 per cent of Worcestershire businesses responding to a county council survey say they have introduced new ways of working following the outbreak of coronavirus.

The online survey was conducted by Worcestershire County Council, Worcestershire Business Central, HW Chamber and other partners. In addition more than 1000 business have been spoken to as evidence is gathered to help inform and support the county’s economic recovery.

Councillor Ken Pollock, cabinet member with responsibility for economy and infrastructure at Worcestershire County Council said: “The economic pressure of the Covid-19 pandemic has been felt across the country. Here in Worcestershire we are working with partners to understand what businesses in the area are facing during the pandemic, and how we can best support them and the wider economy of the county.

“It has been heartening to see the ways in which many Worcestershire businesses have faced the challenging situation by diversifying their output, however for some this has not been possible. With partners we are working to identify what can be done to reduce the impact they are facing.”

One business that has dramatically changed its way of working and supported the county’s response to coronavirus is Piston Gin. The Worcester-based drinks company has turned to providing hand sanitiser for frontline care staff.

Grace Stringer, Manager at Piston Gin Distillery, said, “The safety and wellbeing of our community is our highest priority and we wanted to do all we can to help.

“Over the past weeks we have been working around the clock taking our alcohol supply and changing our production line to produce a moisturising hand sanitiser, in eco-friendly less plastic content packaging.”

Of the businesses surveyed as part of research into the effects that the pandemic has had on the economy in Worcestershire, 70% have introduced new ways of working. For many businesses this has meant their employees working from home, and in some cafes and restaurants this has meant offering takeaway services.

As the lockdown rules change and more businesses return to previous ways of working, the County Council working together with the six district councils and the Local Enterprise Partnership are meeting regularly as the Worcestershire COVID-19 Economic Response, Recovery and Resilience Group

The partnership is currently looking at recovery planning ­­and developing a response to the impact of COVID-19 on the Worcestershire economy.  This includes co-ordinating efforts to support the recovery and build economic resilience.