Somerset Chamber of Commerce is offering help and support to local businesses which are suffering as a direct result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
The Chamber has a dedicated Coronavirus information hub on its website, signposting businesses to key official guidance from Government for employees, employers and businesses.
The page is updated regularly as soon as information becomes available on how and where to apply for financial support, whether that is business rates relief and grants, or advice on tax, cashflow and employee welfare.
The Chamber is working with its members to run online workshops to provide professional and expert advice for businesses on topics such as HR, remote-working and financial support. There is also a specialist COVID-19 news page with professional advice from Chamber members on a wide range of issues, including employment tax and short-term redundancies.
In addition, Chamber staff are working remotely from home, video-calling members and holding video conference calls to offer as much help and guidance as possible.
Stephen Henagulph, Somerset Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive, said: “We recognise the need to maintain some form of business continuity for our members and to help them as much as we can in this challenging economic climate.
“Local businesses are working alongside the Chamber to offer online workshops, many of which are specifically aimed at providing support for those affected by Coronavirus – workshops include HR advice, remote-working guidance, business continuity, maximising PR, an introduction to Instagram and exploring Office 365.
“We know many of our members are feeling the impact of this virus outbreak and we want to do what we can to help, so offering expert training, advice and support via online dial-ins will hopefully provide some much needed guidance and interaction with other members at a time when most of us are working from home and, critically, at a time when businesses need to know what to do, where to get help and what help they qualify for.”
The health, safety and wellbeing of members, staff and employees at partner venues is always a primary consideration and, as a result of the Government advice, Somerset Chamber has postponed its events calendar until the end of April.
Mr Henagulph added: “Even in these particularly challenging times as the Coronavirus outbreak continues to impact the business community, our members are rallying around to help each other with professional advice and to enable the Chamber to continue to deliver training and support workshops.”
The dedicated Somerset Chamber of Commerce Coronavirus information hub can be found on the Chamber’s website at https://www.somerset-chamber.co.uk/business-support/covid-19/