The latest from Merton
Update from Diana Sterck, Merton Chamber of Commerce….
This week we are all reeling from the shock of having to change and adapt our lives and our businesses. I don’t think we’ve had time to stop and take stock. In this update, I wanted to share two things:
Firstly, your local Chamber of Commerce is a small business itself and I am working to adapt what we do and to bring added value to our members during this crisis. I’ve been trialling some on line networking which has been very well received by participants. I’m pleased to announce we will be rolling out “Reach out and Connect” on line in the days ahead. If you would like to participate in these small group networks, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Secondly, here is a 5 point checklist for small businesses which could make the difference to your business surviving and thriving.
1. Size up your problems
Review your cash flow with a realistic and worse case scenario
2. Build up your liquidity
Review who owes you money and negotiate with them on how they can pay.
Review your terms and conditions to see what you say about receipt of payments in relation to your goods or services.
Have you got anything in stock that you could sell for cash?
3. Cut your costs
Review your salary bills, business rates (you will get relief), rent, loan and finance repayments and suppliers.
Look at what difference the business rate relief and the Job retention scheme will/could make. Would you consider applying for the Business Interruption Loan Scheme?
4. Seek advice quickly and negotiate on costs that you could delay or defer.
5. Look ahead – keep your communications going, see how you could change your offer, refocus how you do your marketing, stop doing things that don’t make money or add value and look how you can care for your customers. Lastly, continue your networking. It might only be on line, but opportunities might arise that you might otherwise never know about.
Keep up to date with all the latest from Government and stay connected at
And thanks to www.thamesideenterprise.co.uk for sharing their information included in this post.
The people of Merton are being encouraged to unite, donate and do what they can to help each other in these testing times.
A Coronavirus fund has launched through Merton Giving to help raise money to support vulnerable people in the local community. The fund will provide monetary grants to charities working locally to help older people and other vulnerable groups at risk of Coronavirus. Please give if you are able to. Your donations will be used to help assist volunteers to deliver shopping and other vital support to vulnerable people who are isolated in their homes during this difficult and challenging period.
You can give online here https://www.justgiving.com/mvsc
Merton Chamber of Commerce has set up a business community board for businesses to offer or ask for help and it also wants to tell their stories of community spirit and innovation.Head to its website for more.
Adds chief executive Diana Sterck: “We are open for business to support and help our members and we are asking people to adapt their way of living to shop local, act local, think local to help our wonderful borough get through this.”
Wimbledon Guild would like to say thank you to everyone who has been in touch offering help during the Coronavirus outbreak. Says Mark Williams:
“It’s fantastic that so many people want to help and we’re incredibly grateful.
At Wimbledon Guild we have been supporting our local community for over 111 years by helping reduce social isolation and loneliness, supporting people through difficult times and enabling older people to be active and healthy. We are now doing this in new ways.
The team here are contacting our customers who do not have friends or family and we are making home deliveries of essentials. We are offering hardship grants to people who are unable to work and we are finding ways to offer reassurance and practical help.
We are also collaborating with our colleagues at Merton Council and other local voluntary organisations to make sure that support is available when and where people need it.
If any of the readers are in a position to make a financial donation to help us support people in our Merton community at this very difficult time, that would make a huge difference to our ability to offer direct help with their immediate costs.”
Visit www.wimbledonguild.co.uk, which will be updated regularly as the situation changes
Love Wimbledon has started a web page so that people can see how to support local businesses and the community. Head to https://lovewimbledon.org/support-local/ and for businesses looking for support, they can go to: https://lovewimbledon.org/the-bid/about-us/coronavirus-update-for-businesses/
Adds CEO Helen Clark Bell: “Unprecedented seems to be the word of the moment and the long term future for many businesses and therefore our town centre is very uncertain. Businesses in Wimbledon are in the process of making their own decisions about what measures they need to take to protect their staff and customers. For some businesses this has meant closing their doors temporarily, whilst some are busier than ever. Others are finding different ways of offering their service and supporting the vulnerable members of the community in the process. We are working hard to support and signpost these businesses as best we can so that Wimbledon comes through this stronger than ever.”
More on supporting each other through the crisis: