President’s letter to members

I hope that you and your families all remain safe and healthy.

After a number of quieter weeks, we have seen a series of announcements from the Government this week and a new raft of guidance.  I am sure that most of you will have followed that in the press, but by way of a summary the important changes are:

  • The Government guidance remains to work from home wherever that is possible, but you may now go to work where it is not possible to work from home provided the workplace is safe. The full guidance measures are on our website: The Government’s Recovery Plan.

The Government has issued a series of eight “Covid Secure” guidelines on the measures required to  make workplaces safe, each of those can be found on our website: Secure guidelines for employers.

  • The furlough scheme has now been extended to October.  Currently, the suggestion is that it will remain in its current form until the end of July with the Government continuing to meet 80% of earnings up to £2,500 per month, but there will be variations from the end of July to see employers ‘sharing the burden’ of the payments. That change is likely to increase employer’s contributions and enable part time working, but the extent of those are yet to be seen.
  • Measures are being taken to reopen the property market with viewings now being allowed and estate agents and solicitors allowed to re-open.

Whilst all of these are only small steps, it does feel to me that we are approaching a phase of re-awakening of our local economy. That clearly has to be done in a safe and cautious manner to avoid the all important “R number” from increasing.  Next week I will be having  discussions with Dorset Council, The Town Council and BID about what we can do to smooth the process of re-opening and to support the local economy.  If you do have any comments that you would like to feed back please do let me know.

We had our first networking event remotely on Tuesday and it was very pleasing to hear that the businesses which attended were adapting to their changing landscape and approaching the situation with positivity.  We are widening the numbers for our networking on the 26 May and please do join us and share in that. Full details can be found at 26 May Virtual Networking Meeting.

I appreciate that not all businesses will not be finding the situation easy and if anybody wants to discuss their particular circumstances, risk assessments, staffing position, funding, etc. then I am always here to listen and offer advice where possible. By way of reminder my contact details are  or I can be contacted on 01305 756309.