1 April 2020
Without a doubt, Covid 19 has had a huge impact on many of our local businesses and we have quickly adapted our role to ensure that we are able to support those who need us, during an ever-changing situation.
Sharing information has been vital and the BID has been the central hub for our businesses by signposting the relevant national and local financial support information, hosting weekly webinars (see the BID Training page for details) and working closely with Canterbury City Council and Kent Police to ensure that all our businesses can access the financial support they need and to ensure business premises remain safe during this critical time.
It has also been imperative to keep in close contact with regional and national organisations such as Visit Kent, Visit Canterbury, Produced in Kent, Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce, the Kent and Medway Growth Hub, the Association of Town and City Management, The BID Foundation and British BIDs. We have participated in joint webinars, providing crucial local information to regional and national organisations who are engaging directly with national government, to ensure that there is a co-ordinated approach in all communications.
We have also utilized our MyCanterbury page and MyCanterbury Facebook page to keep the community up to date of the services that are still available across the city and the new initiatives that have been launched in the wake of the crisis as well as supporting enterprises such as YourLocal.delivery, created by local agency, digitalbeans, which enables many of our local businesses to still reach their customers via this free platform, and Produced in Kent’s #HelpKentBuyLocal initiative. We will also be working hard to create content, to be shared via our MyCanterbury channels, to keep our local businesses at the forefront of consumers’ minds.
Alongside these activities, we are hosting a series of webinars designed to equip our business community with new skills to help them cope, covering key topics such as financial, legal, marketing and digital media support, so they can reshape their trading opportunities in line with the new business climate around them. We have sourced local experts for these webinars, who have kindly provided their time as pro-bono work, as we are committed to providing cost-effective training during this critical time.
We are mindful, more than ever, of budget spend and to that end, we have postponed projects and activities such as the summer marketing campaign (including the maps and guides), networking, the ambassador programme, floral displays and cleaning, so they can be reinstated when they are of most benefit to the city. Three members of our team will be on furlough as of 3 April 2020 to ensure that we operate a streamlined organisation, befitting of the current situation, with our desire to reduce spend now, so we can look forward to investing more in the future, when life takes on a new normal.
We know that it is essential to look ahead and therefore we are already planning for recovery with Canterbury City Council, Visit Kent and the Canterbury Culture group to start to shape a strategic outline. We do anticipate a tough time, but we believe that with a collective approach, we can help drive and co-ordinate the best path forward for all our businesses to enjoy a prosperous time in the city once again.
We are regularly updating our online channels with new information, once it has been received, and the following links are useful to monitor our incoming news:
- Canterbury BID Coronavirus Page
- Canterbury City Council Business Support Hub
- Kent and Medway Growth Hub
- UK Government Business Support Website
For the tourism and hospitality sector we would also recommend checking:Visit Kent’s Support Page which features transport information, sector representation and monitoring, financial support, consumer messaging and the Kent Big Weekend.
ACAS have also published information for employees and employers including information on simple steps to help protect the health and safety of staff, sick pay and absence from work.
In these unprecedented and challenging times, we want to let you know we are here for you every step of the way.