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.
Looking for help and guidance during these critical and uncertain times? We've put together a few resources we hope will be helpful >> https://t.co/ahFet4Vv5W Also, for those of you offering help to those transitioning to online virtual formats, pls tag w/ #ZoomerHelp pic.twitter.com/KagYKZCDfq
— Zoom (@zoom_us) March 17, 2020
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
Are you helping others through this tough time? A true definition of support, is what is given freely. #COVID19 Click To Tweet
Here’s our statement regarding our commitment to the fantastic people on the frontline… pic.twitter.com/76Nbkm8twp
— Supermac's (@SupermacsIRE) March 15, 2020
That's how the society should react! Some restaurants started #gastropomaga action (#GastroHelps) and they're preparing & delivering free meals for medical workers! #COVIDー19 #koronowiruswpolsce #COVID19 #koronawiruspolska #CoronavirusOutbreak https://t.co/1VIgWNnbFu
— Mela Zaborowska (@mezzegen) March 15, 2020
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.
Woolworths has opened its doors exclusively to the elderly and people with disabilities for a dedicated shopping hour. Hopefully this eases some of the stress for some of them who have missed out on essential items due to panic buying. https://t.co/NFZ1gBuZHA #coronavirus pic.twitter.com/YiotNkYvg5
— news.com.au (@newscomauHQ) March 16, 2020
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.
— BBC News (UK) (@BBCNews) March 16, 2020
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.
The Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment has been introduced for anyone whose employer is unable to continue to pay…
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.If you're looking for #business support, then visit, @Loc_Enterprise, Welfare.ie and the @EnterInnov, lots of support for the self employed, small business and trade in general is now entering the Irish market. Click To Tweet
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.
An Italian hospital ran out of valves for their ventilators. A local biz brought a #3Dprinter to the hospital, & printed the valves in a few hours.
— Exponential Medicine (@ExponentialMed) March 16, 2020
Now rapidly followed by the UK and Ireland:
UK manufacturers such as Vauxhall, Airbus, Rolls-Royce, Jaguar Land Rover, will 3D-print parts for ventilators to treat coronavirus patients.
More than 60 companies responded to govt's call for help to produce 20,000 ventilators in as little as 2 weeks.
— Linda Yueh (@lindayueh) March 17, 2020
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.
— Colin Keogh 🛠 (@ColinJ_Keogh) March 11, 2020
We have truly come to see what we are made of in this crisis.
Holding a Business Together
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:
We are open, but… Because of the Coronavirus we are taking some precautions to help to contain it. So please bring…
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.
If I can help share any of your ideas, innovations or creativity, please be sure to tag me.