As we come to the end of another month in the Coronavirus pandemic we thought it would be a good time to update you on the members of Severn Business Network, how they are working with their customers and the services and products they are able to provide.
The network itself has continued to meet every Tuesday morning at 9am via Zoom with lots of support, leads passed and of course smiles and laughter!
We have even had new members join us and welcomed back a few familiar faces too.
This week we caught up with the members to find out a bit about their individual situations, how they are currently working, what they are able to do - and whether the recent lifting of certain restrictions will affect them.
Richard Sparks, Advantage Geomatics
At Advantage Geomatics we have been working throughout the lockdown where possible, observing the strict social distancing requirements set out by the Government. Fortunately the nature of our work, i.e. walking around a remote field, means that we are generally doing this anyway!
Over the past few weeks, we have been at work on a proposed holiday park in mid-Wales, conducting progress surveys over a construction site in Buckinghamshire and surveying various sites earmarked for development in Shropshire.
We still intend to turn jobs around quickly, to a high level of precision and to a fair price in a safe manner. If you are trying to see the potential positive in the current situation it may be that now is the time to start that project that has been in your mind.
Graham Skeats, Computer Therapy
I am currently collecting and returning devices from the doorsteps of customers: turnaround might be a bit longer to allow for disinfection but I am able to assist if the problem lies within the device.
I am also able to provide remote support where the customer is able/happy to install the remote control software and in emergencies, work at a 2-metre distance on client premises.
Nick Fisher, 2 Scale Architects and Designers
The initial shock to the nation resulted in an automatic ceasing of enquiries coming through to us, however, we have now started to get a trickle of enquiries coming in and so we are now back up to full strength.
Due to the nature of architects work, projects typically take 6-9 months to complete and so we already had a healthy workload before the lockdown, a number of projects were put on hold but with the lifting of the restrictions on construction sites projects are now starting up again.
The influx of new enquiries generally affects the front end of projects, i.e. surveys, the early design work, drawings and planning applications. So, with only a few new projects, we have the capacity to take on additional work of this nature; house extensions, kitchen design and supply, newbuild houses and small housing developments, care home and office space planning and interiors are some of the building types we can help clients with. Our initial consultation is free of charge.
Frances Peake, Peakes Travel
Peakes Travel is still operating although we are a much smaller team than we would wish. This, unfortunately, means we are not able to deal with everything as quickly as we would like.
We are continuing to do our very best for our customers by keeping in contact with them, lobbying Tour Operators on their behalf, organising refunds and rebooking for next year.
Customer service is still and always has been our first priority, and never more so than in these difficult times. We are working through this and will be here for you when we come out the other side.
Ben Calder, Centre for Integral Health
This has certainly been a challenging time, but one that also invites adaptation and innovation. During the lockdown, Centre for Integral Health has been closed to clients and I have been spending the time delivering live classes of LifeForce Qigong online, initially as Facebook lives sessions.
The schedule for the new system we have for online classes class can now be seen here https://bookwhen.com/integralhealth and will be added to with more yoga, meditation and mental health support session very shortly. I have also been doing support sessions online via ZOOM for people who have nutritional issues, relationship and other issues of how to adapt to the changes and new stresses. These have been very successful, as was the online version of the Embracing your Shadow workshop which we are running again 27-28th July.
A number of our practitioners are available to help with a number of problems via our online services and a list of those can be seen here We Are Here For You.
We have also been using the time to do a little remedial work in the centre and just spruce it up a little for the expectation of being able to open the clinic doors hopefully in July. Until then, we are here for remote advice and support.
Jane Shaw, JS Business and Admin
I am continuing to work supporting clients where they need it - whilst I miss the interaction and face to face helping people, I can and do normally work both virtually and on-site.
Some clients’ businesses are paused at the moment and I will resume when they do, for some they continue to operate and we have worked out different fully virtual methods, and for others, I am assisting with information for financial help or working through new ways of providing their services.
Jason King, Bayfield Vehicle Hire
Bayfield Vehicle Hire has two depots, one in Shrewsbury and one in Telford, offering high-quality car and van hire throughout Shropshire.
The Telford site has remained open throughout the COVID-19 crisis on a part-time basis, from 7am to 11am Monday to Saturday.
Shrewsbury has been closed but is due to reopen on Monday 1st June on a morning only basis. In the meantime, we are answering calls and our customers can access our full range of vehicles from our depot in Telford.
Andrew Durkan, Cleartone Communications and The Phone Box
At Cleartone Communications we are still processing upgrades and new numbers for existing and new business customers. Phones are being dropped off by myself, as well as being posted. All depending on what the customer requires.
We can still be contacted via email on email@example.com or call 07711525447 at all times.
The Phone Box shop has been closed since lockdown but we are still carrying out repairs as one of our technicians is working from home.
We have teamed up with zoom to include a collection & delivery service – this can be booked through our website https://www.thephoneboxshropshire.co.uk/
We can also be contacted via email on Info@thephoneboxshropshire.co.uk or call 07976638556 at all times.
David Hill, The Glass Studio
The Glass Studio showroom has been closed since the imposing of lockdown restrictions but from the beginning of April, we have been offering gift vouchers to allow customers to order items that can be created and delivered at a later date.
The studio is due to open once again, on Tuesdays and Fridays, from the first week in June and existing orders will begin to be fitted in late May.
I can still take orders and plan projects with customers and although a lot depends on our suppliers I'm hoping to re-start production early June.
Christine McNeish, Berlad Graham
Lockdown has changed the way many solicitors are working and some firms have had to furlough staff but not at Berlad Graham. All of our solicitors work from home anyway so we have all the infrastructure in place to ensure our clients have the best possible service at all times.
From my perspective, as a solicitor offering Family Law advice, you can contact me by telephone, Whatsapp or skype at a time to suit you.
Lockdown has led to tensions in some households and if you want to discuss your legal options before leaving a relationship then I offer a free, no-obligation, 20-minute telephone chat. This means you can then make an informed decision about what action you may need to take.
Rhea Alton, J&PR Ltd
J&PR limited uses a cloud system that allows them to work from anywhere - this has always allowed the team to work in-house with clients and existing marketing teams when required, and it has allowed them to continue meeting the needs of clients throughout the current lockdown.
The team is working to ensure the best possible service for existing clients and is also holding regular one-to-one consultation sessions via Zoom with small businesses and marketing teams looking to maximise on the digital impact of the current situation.
One-to-one consultations are available at a cost of £149.00 plus VAT and can be booked via firstname.lastname@example.org
Stuart Smallwood, E- drive West Midlands
I am still continuing to work throughout the lockdown, advising clients on their options with regards to payments and the options open for potential new vehicles.
Quotes are also still available although in terms of collection and deliveries this is not classed as essential. If you are a key worker however please do get in touch as I can potentially assist with your vehicle needs.
I am still getting new deals to offer all the time and can put plans in place for future months as we monitor how the situation develops.
Susan Caroline, Pengwern Books
Located on Fish Street in the heart of the town, Pengwern Books has been serving booklovers in Shrewsbury and beyond for nearly 16 years. With its small but carefully curated stock readers will find something different, sometimes unexpected, from the mainstream on the shelves and what isn’t on the shelf can be ordered.
This was our norm. People came into the shop or called or emailed and I proceeded to help where and when I could, which was most of the time. But that has had to change and I’m not sure I will change all of it back when (!) this current situation abates.
When lockdown hit it wasn’t a surprise. We knew it was coming and I had been gently preparing people for a while. I told folk that I would be able to order in books or supply from stock and post or deliver (safely) their orders to their homes.
However, it was still a shock. Since the shop has been closed, I have been inundated with orders from customers both regular and new. The support has been phenomenal, and I have been so busy. Despite the crisis the book trade supply chain has marched on – slowed but not bowed in any way. And Pengwern Books has continued to supply booklovers as far away as the USA, Denmark and Brighton!