The rapid outbreak of COVID-19 has presented an alarming health crisis that the world is grappling with. In addition to the human impact, there is also a significant commercial one felt globally. While we have already seen both UK and Scottish Governments introduce a raft of relief for businesses, as viruses know no borders, the impacts will continue to spread – and quickly. This effect on businesses is so great that according to data from Dun & Bradstreet, 94% of the Fortune 1000 are already seeing COVID-19 disruptions. And the impact on smaller businesses has been swift, and in some cases, brutal.
To tackle this, on Wednesday 25th of March at 10am the Scottish Business Resilience Centre (SBRC), along with some of Scotland’s’ top business leaders will host the first in a series of 60 minute webinars to provide a chance for attendees to understand and ask questions about topics which will help businesses prepare to survive in this unprecedented time.
The first webinar will cover subjects including: measures to manage cashflow, director’s duties and obligations, supply chain issues, possible business rescue measures, additional lending considerations from a solvency perspective and the importance of financial forecasting. There will also be an overview of the new COVID-19 financial support measures available (Government and other) and what you can do, including who you should be speaking to, in advance of seeking these funding measures.
Speakers on hand to provide free practical advice in the first session include:
- Paul Atkinson, Partner, Par Equity
- Duncan Raggett, Insolvency Practitioner, AAB
- Lyn Calder, Partner & Head of Central Belt Deals, AAB
- Chris Thompson, Corporate Finance Senior Manager, AAB
Over the coming weeks, the SBRC will also organise a further suite of webinars covering:
- Organisational health
- How to lead remotely
- Renegotiating contracts
- Employee wellbeing/Mental health
- Communicating with media, stakeholders and employees
- Cyber Security and the risks around COVID
- How to solve problems that did not exist a few weeks ago?
Paul Atkinson, Partner at Par Equity, commented: “Business leaders in Scotland have been faced with a challenge like never before and to tackle that must think differently – from how we work to how we share advice. Rather than have 30 identical conversations each day, now is the time to be smarter to guarantee that we emerge from this crisis to the same vibrant business community that we had just a few weeks ago. It would be a shame if some businesses fail just because they didn’t have the insights they needed to re-shape their operations.
“We are grateful for all the people who have come forward to support this webinar and will work together to see how we can continue to provide practical and pragmatic support to leaders over the coming weeks.”
Jude McCorry, CEO of SBRC added: “The Scottish business community is one that is both resilient and strong. While none of us have faced such a volatile market before, our strength lies in our collaborative, innovative and fearless nature. Now is a time to unite and be proactive. We have established this cross-industry group to help people navigate this strange new world and prepare for a different way of being in business. We are not going to sit back and watch companies fail who could have survived if they had some sort of mentoring, practical advice or simply a confidence boost to keep going. This board will help give every business a fighting chance, but to also have a solid network so that if they have to fail, that they do so among friends and feel supported.”
Lyn Calder, Partner and Head of Central Belt Deals at Anderson Anderson & Brown LLP (AAB) said: “Whilst these are uncertain times there are a number of key areas businesses should consider and various proactive steps they can take to mitigate impact. The SBRC is actively trying to bring businesses together to collaborate for the greater good of the business community and we are here to assist in any way we can. AAB see this very much as a partnership; we are all in this together and we are here to support businesses through these challenging times.”
Additionally, the SBRC is working closely with the Scottish Government around funding and grants to benefits Scottish businesses in this critical time. It is also in conversations with the Scottish Council for Development and Industry (SCDI) around policy progress and the National Cyber Security Centre to ensure timely, accurate and clear messaging around areas that businesses need to keep operating in Scotland.
Future webinars will include representatives from the Scottish Business Resilience Centre, Clark Communications and the Institute of Directors Scotland, amongst others.
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