WORKING THROUGH THE COVID-19 DILEMMA ISSUE 06
Find your digital voice! Engaging your brand with audiences that matter.
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FOREWORD Business support services are busy mustering ranks, ready to lead them back out the trenches
pologies, we really couldn’t avoid the dreaded C-word this issue! But with most businesses on a war footing, advice and guidance on everything from the legal ramifications of furloughing to the cyber strategies needed to defend home-workers will surely be welcome. Do you know what the top three data security risks are while working out of office? Top of my list would have been ‘fraudsters a-fishing’, but in actual fact most security fails are down to simple human error on the part of the operator. It’s well worth your while turning to page 18 to find out more.
But we’ve also talked to Tom Hennessy, chief executive of economic development agency Opportunity Peterborough, who gave us a snapshot of this thriving city but a stone’s throw from London. And we interviewed Welshman Mark Thomas, who put down both his private and professional roots in Ipswich. The big break for his mobile app development company Coderus actually happened 20,000 feet above the Atlantic though. It turned out to be the start of one hell of a journey.
Solicitors’ firm Paladin-Knight, meanwhile, chews over the F-word. Two months ago, ‘furlough’ was a word unknown to even some of the UK’s most seasoned specialists in employment law. Today, it is on everybody’s lips. “There is no doubt that we will spend years litigating the various disputes arising from the application of the scheme, and the claims for financial support made thereunder,” the firm warns. Reading its lowdown on the legalities is probably a good place to start then. It’s something of a ‘signposting’ issue this one, thanks to the range of advice on offer and links to the business support services actively seeking to get the nation back to work.
Helen Compson Editor, East Anglia in Business
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Foreword 03 Business support services are busy mustering ranks, ready to lead them back out the trenches
Covid/Legal 20|22 Coronavirus, and the illness it causes Covid-19 - have got the world F’ing quite a lot.
Digital Innovation 06|09 Mobile app developer Coderus is every inch the Silicon Valley start-up, but it just happens to be based in Suffolk. HELEN COMPSON reports on an Ipswich company making waves in the America’s Cup.
Digital Marketing 16|17 Digital marketing shouldn’t be scary. At Be Everywhere, we understand how complex today’s marketing landscape is portrayed, which is why we thrive on helping our customers to find their digital voice.
Covid/Finance 24|25 As the COVID-19 crisis is escalating, companies are having to act fast to minimise the impact on their business.
Economic Development 28|31 East of England firm awarded multimillion pound contract on East Anglia ONE windfarm
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Editor Helen Compson firstname.lastname@example.org
Design Distinctive Publishing, 3rd Floor, Tru Knit House, 9-11 Carliol Square, Newcastle, NE1 6UF Tel: 0191 580 5990 www.distinctivepublishing.co.uk
Advertising Distinctive Publishing, 3rd Floor, Tru Knit House, 9-11 Carliol Square, Newcastle, NE1 6UF Tel: 0191 5805990 www.distinctivepublishing.co.uk
Covid/Digital 32|33 In recent weeks, many people will have begun working from home for the very first time due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. In this time of change and uncertainty, good leadership has never been more important.
Economic Development 42|45 Keeping one eye on the future is as important as ever, current crisis mode notwithstanding. HELEN COMPSON hears what one economic development company is doing today and tomorrow to support the businesses in its care.
Covid/Government Support 48|49
East Anglia in Business @EAinBusiness
Health and Wellbeing 50|51
East Anglia in Business www.eastangliainbusiness.co.uk
Alternative ways to travel, such as walking and cycling, could relieve the pressure on public transport.
Infrastructure and Transport 52 Clegg Construction has been trading since the 1930s, over the last 80 years, Clegg from its operating bases in Cambridge, Nottingham and Leeds, has steadily grown with a group turnover of ÂŁ100million per annum.
Distinctive Publishing or East Anglia in Business cannot be held responsible for any inaccuracies that may occur, individual products or services advertised or late entries. No part of this publication may be reproduced or scanned without prior written permission of the publishers and East Anglia in Business.
Businesses with supply chains which rely on Trade Credit Insurance and who are experiencing difficulties maintaining cover due to Coronavirus will get support from the government, the Economic Secretary to the Treasury, John Glen has announced.
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FAIR WINDS AND FOLLOWING SEAS Mobile app developer Coderus is every inch the Silicon Valley start-up, but it just happens to be based in Suffolk. HELEN COMPSON reports on an Ipswich company making waves in the Americaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Cup.
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ark Thomas is the living embodiment of the age old irony, ‘the harder I work, the luckier I get’.
True, it was a brilliant stroke of luck – followed through with the gamble a big tech company was subsequently prepared to take on a tiny, unknown enterprise – that proved the making of his software company Coderus. But it all grew out of Mark’s passion, dogged determination and Herculean work ethic. Sleep was never on the agenda! He actually started the business, from a desk in his bedroom, 21 years ago. However, with a growing family to support, for the first decade it was very much the night job, taking second place to his role by day as a BT software engineer supporting the Open Reach broadband roll-out.
It paid off when, on one flight, he got talking to a fellow attendee, a senior executive from Bowers and Wilkins, manufacturer of some of the best speakers on the market. “And the rest is history,” said Mark. “They were very interested in integrating our technology into their speakers. “They needed mobile apps for their desktop software, so I started building some prototypes.” Day in, day out, he would work until one or two o’clock in the morning, designing the seamless solutions called for. All the while, the new house he and wife Alison had bought began to steadily fill with boxes of Bowers and Wilkins speakers.
His big break – that turning point for Coderus – happened 20,000 feet above the Atlantic.
Even ever-supportive Alison, who is both codirector and HR director for Coderus, has her limits.
He was on his way to the annual Apple Worldwide Developers’ Conference in San Jose at the time.
Mark laughed. “I blame Kirstie Allsopp really for having me kicked out of my own house.
“I’ve been just about every year for the past 21 years,” he said. “I think I’ve only missed one, and that was for the birth of one of my sons.
“She likes wielding a sledgehammer to knock through to create kitchen-diners and Ali said ‘we should do that’. So, off I went to get an office.”
“I have always invested a lot in technology and training. Most employees, if their company won’t pay for them, they won’t go to a conference, but I did and just paid for myself.
One lunchbreak, he happened to walk through Adastral Park just as it was being opened by technology business incubator Innovation Martlesham and went in to take a look.
“Friends would be going off on holiday to Spain and France, while I’d be using what money I had to go to San Jose each year.”
He re-emerged having taken an option on a three-man office, and so set about intercepting one Robin, a very experienced software developer
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preparing to retire. “Robin became my first employee,” said Mark. It was just the start. Still working for BT, Mark went along to his own business during his lunchbreaks and then in the evenings, to check on his employees’ progress. He said: “One of the hardest things about starting your own business is when to make that jump and let go of your steady income. “BT agreed to cut my hours, so that I worked three days a week for them and two days for myself, but the demands for the Bowers and Wilkins contract became huge – I was working until three every morning and then getting up to go to the day job.” There came a point when he had five people in the three-man office. He duly rented another one, but outgrew the space again … and again. “Now we have four offices at Innovation Martlesham and 32 members of staff,” he said. “We’ve had 40 per cent growth each year since and now, I’m glad to say, we’re turning a fair profit – Coderus is going from strength to strength.” Four or five years ago, the company pulled off something of a coup when it started working with sailing ace Ben Ainslie and the British team competing for the America’s Cup. Mark’s moment came when BT’s original partner in the enterprise let them down.
“We have been working with them for four or five years now,” he said. “We are at the core of their design process – we have speeded up their data transmission process by 10 times.”
A product needs to be an improvement on what is already available, and we will move heaven and earth to make it as good as it can be.
Coderus’s USP is being able to embed its software in mobile phones and portable devices so that they mesh seamlessly in the Internet of Things, and it stepped in to do just that for Ainslie and co. “We do what we do better than anybody else,” said Mark. “The work we have done for both Bowers & Wilkins and Ben Ainslie’s team has centred on developing the highly reliable software needed. “When Ainslie is racing around on that boat, he needs to know he is going to get the information he needs from the 160 or so sensors he has on board quickly and precisely.” When Coderus was first asked to get involved, part way through the cycle of the 35th America’s Cup, the project was two months behind schedule. Mark and his team not only came up with the goods, but also delivered them on time. Coderus was sharp invited back to continue pushing the bounds for the 36th, due to take place in March 2021.
It is the finesse of the ultimate user experience that has won Coderus its clutch of headline clients. Another one is French environmental services company Veolia. There, Coderus is improving the software support for a new water purification system.
The Coderus team were delighted the year they were shortlisted in the Business Growth category for the Mobile Industry Awards. It was recognition indeed that the company stands out from the crowd in terms of ambition, customer satisfaction and, well, just having that wow factor. Mark said: “My passion is building great products and user experiences that enrich people’s lives. “The technology has to be seamless and nonintrusive, but it also has to add value – it mustn’t be technology for technology’s sake.
MARK THOMAS Coderus www.coderus.com
“A product needs to be an improvement on what is already available, and we will move heaven and earth to make it as good as it can be.” The company’s prime focus until now has been software development, but Coderus currently has two hardware products under development. “They are still under wraps while we apply for the patents,” he said. So, watch this space!
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EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE GOVERNMENT’S ENERGY SAVINGS OPPORTUNITY SCHEME (ESOS) The government’s current focus on moving to a net zero emissions economy means they need to find ways to encourage businesses to reduce their energy usage.
ombine this with tighter budgets and higher demands on resources, there has never been a more crucial time for businesses to find cost effective ways of saving energy. The government’s Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) is the UK’s interpretation of Article 8 of the EU Energy Efficiency Directive. It’s an initiative to lower carbon emissions and mandates that organisations undertake comprehensive assessments of energy use and energy efficiency opportunities at least once every four years. It is a mandatory scheme for organisations in the UK who meet certain qualification criteria and is mainly aimed at large commercial businesses. Those that qualify must carry out repeated assessments, scheduled to happen every four years, to identify cost-effective energy saving measures. These assessments are audits of the energy used by their buildings, industrial processes and transport. Businesses must then notify the Environment Agency by a set deadline to inform them that they have complied with their ESOS obligations.
Who qualifies? ESOS applies to UK organisations and their corporate groups that are large enough to meet one of these qualification criteria: Employ more than 250 people Have an annual turnover in excess of €50 million and an annual balance sheet in excess of €43 million You are part of a group where one entity meets the above criteria There are however some exemptions, some of these are: Housing trusts Public bodies If you qualify for ESOS it’s all about providing evidence that you have been able to identify energy efficiency and energy management opportunities when you have an audit.
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ESOS is now in Phase 3 and the deadline for compliance is 5th December 2023. We would advise to plan early to help with some of the challenges that can occur along the way. For example, getting accurate data can be problematic, so the more time you have to do this the easier it will be. By getting everything in order early it will also help to minimise disruption and potential problems.
The first steps are to ascertain whether ESOS compliance is required for your business. If required, you will need to find a suitably qualified Lead Assessor to carry out the audits and guide you through the process.
Although the deadline for Phase 2 passed on 5th December 2019 organisations who comply but missed the deadline will unfortunately be fined for non-compliance until it is met so are advised to act quickly. This is something Indigo Swan can help with. We can help you become compliant quickly and efficiently.
Penalties for non-compliance Any organisations that qualify for the ESOS scheme but fail to meet their obligations by the deadline will be issued with a non-compliance enforcement notice, alongside potential fines. Non-compliant undertakings will be reviewed on a case by case basis. Companies in breach of the ESOS regulations may also be named and shamed.
Your Assessor will be able to help you decide the most appropriate route for compliance (Audits, Display Energy Certificates, ISO50001), and formulate a strategy best suited to you and your business. It’s worth noting that there are two types of Lead Assessors - those that come from within the industry and those that become an accessor through the exam route. They offer varying degrees of experience in the different aspects of the energy management audit covered by ESOS. It’s up to you to select the most appropriate for your needs. It is advisable to not look for the cheapest but one that offers a competitive price and has the necessary experience to help you see benefits from the process.
“As the name of the scheme suggests, ESOS should not be seen as a headache, but a great opportunity to reduce your business costs and its impact on the environment.
After the deadline for Phase 1, many organisations received enforcement notices from the Environment Agency as a result of not submitting their evidence by the deadline of 5th December 2015. Fines also followed ranging from £1,000 to the largest fine of £45,000.
What it helps you with The scheme is more than just a compliance exercise, it provides detailed recommendations of where and how to save energy. ESOS provides businesses with a platform to work from to reduce capital expenditure and improve operational efficiency. It is estimated that annual costs can be reduced by 20% through energy efficiency and management (Carbon Trust 2014). Any cost associated with ESOS can be outweighed by the long-term financial benefits it will bring to your businesses by reducing energy bills and increasing efficiency.
ESOS will take time and have a cost to your business, but by embracing this with a good Lead Assessor you could look to recover costs by making changes to how you use your energy, which is the intention of the process. You may find that this opens opportunities for additional projects and savings.
INDIGO SWAN indigoswan.co.uk 01603 625522
Lee Hart is Head of Knowhow at Indigo Swan – an energy consultancy based in Norwich. He has over 15 years’ experience working within the energy industry and works closely with all the members of the team to ensure they are up to date with industry and market developments. “As the name of the scheme suggests, ESOS should not be seen as a headache, but a great opportunity to reduce your business costs and its impact on the environment.” Lee Hart commented. Indigo Swan can provide organisations with bespoke and tailored support as well as guidance surrounding compliance with ESOS. They can assist in providing a qualified Lead Assessor or if you would prefer to manage your own submission, can discuss accessing and analysing half hourly data from smart meters to demonstrate a starting point and the impact of measures.
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REACT COMPUTER PARTNERSHIP For almost a quarter of a century now, the React Computer Partnership in Woodbridge, Suffolk, has acted as right-hand man for small to medium size companies in need of an IT department. Specialising in the supply, installation and support of business IT systems, last summer the family behind it, the Pledgers, were anointed Family Business of the Year at the East of England FSB Celebrating Small Business Awards. “You can be talking to your team in one channel and a customer in another. We did that just this morning when we had a conversation with one of our customers who wanted a licence change.” The host could hold audio meetings in which the screen was shared by the participants and, if they had the right type of licence, they could use Teams to run events such as webinars too. “If you need to go back and double-check what somebody said in a certain exchange, you can do that as well,” he said. “A record is kept of meetings.”
he sudden move to home working following lockdown wasn’t a problem for those companies that already had Microsoft Office 365 at the heart of their operations. But for those that didn’t, well, at least they had companies such as React Computer Partnership to turn to. The period immediately after Boris Johnson’s announcement was hectic, said director Francis Pledger. “In our own case, we just had to have a couple of people go into the office, collect the telephones and distribute them and, hey presto, our whole team was up and running from home on the Tuesday morning.
REACT COMPUTER PARTNERSHIP 01394 387337 email@example.com www.reactcp.co.uk
“It’s just as well as it was a very busy period for us, because everybody else was trying to do the same! We took a week’s worth of calls on that Monday and Tuesday alone.” The Microsoft Teams part of the 365 package – the communications hub that so effectively supports collaboration and, yes, teamwork - has certainly come into its own. A significant portion of React’s work recently has been focused on helping clients get the most they can out of it. There are two strands to Teams. Francis said: “One is a chat facility where you can have very unstructured conversations, updating each other about what you’re doing and life in general. “And then in the other section, that’s where you build your team and hold meetings. “You can segment the conversation based on which customer contract or project you are working on and have different conversations in different channels.
In addition, a built in ‘tasks’ function makes it easy to both divvy up and keep track of duties and responsibilities, leaving no room for doubt over who’s doing what. While it is the breadth of social interaction allowed – the formal and the informal – that has made Teams the success it is, accessibility is key to Microsoft 365 as a whole. With all documentation automatically stored and then separately backed up to the cloud, staff can draw down whatever they need, wherever they are. He said: “I have spoken to people who have conversations on WhatsApp, video meetings on Zoom and store their documents in Googledocs, but 365 has all of that in one package, so you don’t have to come out of one system to go into another – it’s all in one place, it’s seamless. “Something that managers also need to be aware of is that when people are working from home, there is a bigger tendency for them to store documents on their PC rather than on the server, because they are easier to retrieve, but then how many copies do you end up with and who’s backing them up to the server? “It’s simply not an issue when everything is automatically stored in Office 365” Going forward, business people needed to be prepared for perhaps more evolutions of the cycle, said Francis. “We don’t know if coronavirus will come back, but at React we have said for a long time now, your office can be taken out of commission for any unforeseen reason. “So having the right systems in place and being able to simply transfer home is a very useful backup to have, certainly if you want business to continue as close to usual as possible.”
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CAMBRIDGE CITY AIRPORT FLIES IN THE FACE OF COVID-19 Cambridge City Airport is known for its equine transportation, as well as providing streamlined access for business travellers visiting the historic city, with everything that has to offer.
owever, what is perhaps less known is the valuable contribution the airport makes to the East Anglian Air Ambulance service that provides such a lifeline to the surrounding community. Never has this charity’s services been more crucial and appreciated than at the moment, as the country battles to overcome the challenges of the global Covid-19 pandemic. “Every aspect of the air industry has been severely affected by this coronavirus challenge,” said Airport Director, Kevan Craske. “But for Covid-19 we’d be enjoying increased flights for our equine passengers and visitors looking forward to race days at Newmarket, and air displays at Duxford. “The EAAA’s two helicopters are constantly on call, and while them being busy is never good news and we would obviously prefer them not to receive a call-out, it’s rewarding for us to know we can do our bit to ensure they can fulfil their duty to help those in need.” The airport is owned and operated by Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group (Marshall ADG) and supports the region with business flights, while also acting as a hub for flying lessons and commercial airline pilot training. It is especially renowned for its equine transportation capabilities, which is highly specialised and something very few airports are able to offer. The airport’s location just a few miles from Newmarket, one of the country’s foremost racing venues, means travelling time for the horse is significantly reduced, which helps keep them in peak condition. It’s also convenient for equine handlers, and those who simply want to enjoy the races, all of which has been on hold since lockdown began in March. The skies may be quieter, but Cambridge City Airport is still very much open for business, with private charter flights benefiting business travellers needing to fly while the majority of commercial flights are grounded at other regional airports. Social distancing measures have been introduced to ensure passengers are able to maintain customer safety, including opening additional lounges at the FBO. Marshall ADG provides essential services maintaining military C-130 Hercules cargo aircraft for a number of global air forces, which undertake medevac and cargo missions in the fight against the Coronavirus. Those
flights have continued as scheduled, as have the vital air ambulance flights. EAAA keeps its two helicopters on permanent standby at the airport, having had a permanent overnight helicopter base here since 2007.
Cambridge jet centre open for business
In July 2016 the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh opened EAAA’s new operating base, the EgertonSmith Centre. The centre had been operational since December 2015 to provide work and rest space for the charity’s clinicians and pilots, support staff and volunteers and was constructed from pre -fabricated materials using money raised locally by regional supporters. “It was thanks to Sir Michael Marshall that we were able to secure an airside lease to build our new Cambridge City Airport base in 2015. During the last 15 years, he truly helped us to save the lives of countless local people and we are externally grateful for his incredible support,” said EAAA of Sir Michael, who passed away last summer.
CAMBRIDGE CITY AIRPORT cambridgeairport.com
EAAA is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. While some of the country’s larger airports are struggling to survive the economic impact of the current pandemic, Craske says that being small, agile and part of a larger, independent group will help Cambridge City Airport weather these difficult times. “No one could have foreseen the challenges we are currently all facing,” said Craske, “and while it is difficult for the entire industry, by focusing on excellent customer service and equine cargo, along with some UK and international military customers, we believe we can be more positive than many others.”
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BIOSCIENCE BUSINESS MODELS Where to start on building a business model for a bioscience business? It’s a question that features when entrepreneurs set out to raise funds. Many conversations are on how they can make the biggest innovation contribution. That means understanding the environment for the business.
ake the pulse on innovation. Find out where you fit in. The pace of innovation in a sector and its openness to change is fundamental for your business model. We are now on the cusp of a true synergy between the in vivo and in silico worlds of biomedical research.
Healx’s AI-driven approach makes the process faster, more efficient and more cost-effective. Healx’s Rare Treatment Accelerator programme is a new initiative launched in close partnership with patient communities to identify clinic-ready treatments for rare diseases within 24 months.
The reality of patients’ experiences is coming to the fore and outcomes are focussing on making a genuine difference to symptoms and quality of life, as well as underlying biology.
‘If you want to go fast, go alone, if you want to go far, go together’, this African proverb is true for bioscience commercialisation. Partnering is key.
Rare diseases are a beacon for this movement. Tim Guilliaums, CEO and Founder of Healx, is using AI to transform the development of medicines for rare diseases. The company has grown dramatically since 2015, raising investment of $56 million for a Series B financing in 2019. Where the traditional drug discovery model takes more than a decade and can run into the billions of dollars,
For example, over recent years Arecor, led by CEO Sarah Howell, has collaborated with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) to develop novel insulin treatments. Most recently in October 2019, Arecor entered into a collaboration agreement with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation for a novel treatment for type 1 diabetes. This is to co-develop a novel coformulation of pramlintide and insulin (AT271) for
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people living with diabetes who require prandial (during a meal) treatment. Arecor is using its proprietary formulation technology platform, Arestat, to develop a new, co-formulation of pramlintide and insulin. JDRF is the leading global organisation funding type 1 diabetes research. Their mission is to accelerate life-changing breakthroughs to cure, prevent and treat type 1 diabetes and its complications. Serial entrepreneurs bring product focus. Frank Craig is the CEO of Sphere Fluidics. The company spun out of the Chemistry Department at the University of Cambridge and he has led it through funding rounds, product focus and international expansion. The initial products were in R&D collaboration for scientist looking to investigate reactions in microfluidic droplets. He’s led the focussing of the company on microfluidic droplet analysis in antibody discovery. This began in 2013 with early version of the automated system and since then the company has signed many international distributorships and opened an office on the West Coast of the USA. Chart the operations for your business. Charli Batley is the Senior Director of Operations at PhoreMost. She advises, ‘The availability of cell models and scientists expert in working on these in oncology has influenced our growth’. Search the intellectual property landscape. Create an IP strategy. This is crucial for realising innovation. There needs to be Freedom to Operate – a clear landscape where the company can develop and sell its products and protect the value it generates. There are many talented IP firms in Cambridge to help companies. Appleyard Lees, Boult Wade Tennant, J A Kemp, Marks & Clerk, Mewburn Ellis, StratagemIP to name but a few.
with significant experience, success and deep pockets. Balance non-dilutive and dilutive funding. Health Enterprise East is connected with the NHS, medical technology industry and governmental organisations. They offer for example routes to grants, SBRI Healthcare for pre-procurement contracts, and equity investment through Medovate.
If you want to go fast, go alone, if you want to go far, go together, this African proverb is true for bioscience commercialisation. Partnering is key.
Create a funding strategy. ‘Biotechs need a Plan B for finance from the word go. They need to think beyond grants, start-up, series A, B rounds. Large corporate investors need to know when a company is going to hit milestones.’ says Julie Simmonds, Director of Equity Research, Panmure Gordon. There is money on the table for nimble startups that can demonstrate efficient testing and translation of new ideas from bench to bedside. Ahren, Cambridge Innovation Capital, IP Group, Cambridge Angels, Cambridge Capital Group, Amadeus, IQ capital are all Cambridge-based funds
‘Cambridge is a safe place to do risky things,’ these are the stayin-your-mind words of Dr Andy Richards, serial entrepreneur and investor. There’s a wealth of networks to meet entrepreneurs, would-be team members, advisors, industry experts. For example, Cambridge Network, Innovation Forum, One Nucleus all
offer exciting events. Think beyond the first phase. Uday Phadke and Shai Vyakarnam’s Scale-up Manual explains the challenges for companies moving from a validated prototype to a sustainable business. The approach supports different strategies for resource allocation, ranging from 'lean' techniques to sustainability initiatives based on the circular economy. The Manual includes many case studies and insights to use at different points along the commercialisation journey. And most of all talk to people about your idea. I wish you luck on your entrepreneurial journey!
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FIND YOUR DIGITAL VOICE Digital marketing shouldn’t be scary. At Be Everywhere, we understand how complex today’s marketing landscape is portrayed, which is why we thrive on helping our customers to find their digital voice.
ur services provide an effective solution to growing your brand online, helping you to reach and engage with audiences both genuine and relevant to your business.
By thoroughly profiling your business, we implement a bespoke digital marketing strategy, clarifying the objectives, messaging, channels and audiences of your campaign.
From content performance to audience and engagement, our analytics give you and your business a deeper insight into your activity and helps to strategise digital growth.
Social Media Across a range of social media channels, we strategically help your brand to promote itself and build engagement, influence and trust with relevant audiences.
Design We create eye-catching visual campaigns consistent with your branding to help you stand out from the crowd and from your competitors and build memorable brand awareness.
Content Marketing From social media messaging to blogging and press releases, we replicate your brands tone of voice and research your industry to create compelling and targeted content.
We help you to directly reach and engage with your target audience and customers through email marketing campaigns, that are both tactical and GDPR compliant
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WHAT CAN BUSINESSES TAKE AWAY FROM THE RECENT LOCKDOWN? With so many businesses transitioning certain parts of the workforce to (and from) remote working over the last several months, there has been a lot of discussion about the best way to manage this.
here has been all the talk of the logistical elements—which computer is appropriate to use, what should be in the background of video calls, and how will everyone’s internet connection hold up. And then there are security considerations—how secure is your video calling platform, how do you use VPN, and where are your team storing their files. But once we got over all the practical stuff, my team and I have spent more time reflecting on our remote working experiences. What we’ve enjoyed about working from home. What we haven’t enjoyed. And how we can bring the good bits back with us when we return back to the office.
Benefits to Remote Working Almost everyone here at OpenCRM found themselves enjoying some aspects of home working…even if it was just getting up a bit later with a shorter commute! A lot of our developers and non-phone answering people said they found it much easier to “get their heads down” on a particular task. Working from home gave them a reduction in interruptions so they could keep focused on particularly tricky tasks. Some others cited a more relaxed approach as their favourite thing about working from home. Now we don’t have a very formal uniform in the office, but
apparently even jeans and t-shirts is too formal for some! So the relaxed dress code was a winner. I have to say that I quite enjoyed being able to take our dogs for a lunchtime walk. It was a really nice way to unwind from the stress of the morning and get re-focused for the afternoon Saying that, when it came to pets and kids, the team was a bit mixed in their response. We all have enjoyed getting to spend more time with our immediate families during this lockdown, but the interruptions could make things tricky from time to time.
Downsides to Remote Working In reality, those distractions at home were the thing our team most often mentioned as making remote working difficult. In some cases, it was kids or pets, in others it was the lure of the laundry basket or washing up bowl. When in the office, those tasks can be happily put to the back of your head, but when they’re in the next room…well, it’s a lot harder. I will say that everyone found a way to work through these distractions, but the transition was not easy. Add to that the isolation and worry for family and friends? And I would say you’ve hit the nail on the head with the biggest downside to remote working during a global pandemic lockdown: the mental health challenges.
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This was something we as a company (as with every other business making the same transition) had to address very quickly. Our shift to video calls instead of normal voice calling or instant messaging for scheduled meetings and impromptu chats went a long way to helping everyone feel connected. We also added a “tea and toast” session every morning before the start of the work day, just to take the place of all those little chats you have with your office mates when you first get into the building. I won’t say that fixed everyone’s worries, but it did help to make us all feel like we were part of the same team. That we were all ‘in this together’.
Transitioning back to the office On balance, there were positives and negatives to having our team all working from home. We did what we could to address the downsides, putting a variety of mechanisms in place to keep people feeling connected and on task.
they do a couple of times a week? Or even just a few days a month? If you have people who are more productive when they aren’t in the office, then you certainly don’t want to lose that! What about all those people who most enjoyed wearing loungewear while working? Well, you probably aren’t going to change your dress code to allow bunny slippers, but are there other things you can do to make your staff more comfortable? You could institute casual Fridays, for example. Or relax the dress code for those people who are never customer facing? The important thing to consider when returning to the office after lockdown is ask yourself (and your team) what elements of home working they’d like to bring back with them to the office? I am sure that an open and frank conversation about the pros and cons will tell you everything you need to know about what your team most values.
But what about all those positives? How do you make sure to bring the benefits of remote working back as we all transition into a shared office once again? The first question is whether remote working could be made a part of your business going forward. For those job roles that CAN work from home and found a benefit from it, should it be something
Graham Anderson, is the CEO and founder of OpenCRM, one of the UK’s leading customer relationship management systems.
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WHAT THE F? Coronavirus, and the illness it causes - Covid-19 - have got the world F’ing quite a lot.
e’ve been inundated with requests about both F’ing people and F’ing contracts. Ordinarily, our articles would be more prolix, but we’re all in the trenches – so this edition’s article is hopefully short, to the point and above all useful. “Furlough”. Two months ago, this was a word unknown to many, including some of the UK’s most seasoned employment lawyers. Today, it’s common parlance in most employer’s daily conversation. Contrary to popular belief, it is not a noun to describe the deflated feeling one has after a day of home-schooling one’s children. Rather, it is the concept of giving an employee a leave of absence.
contributions and (a limited amount of) pension contributions; The Scheme commenced on 1st March 2020 has been extended until the end of October 202. From August onwards employees will be able to work part-time whilst furloughed, and the Chancellor has mentioned that businesses will be asked to share the cost of the scheme. We await further details; Employers can claim for furloughed employees who were employed on 19th March 2020 and who were on their PAYE payroll on or before 19th March 2020, AND for certain employees who left their employment after 28th February 2020 but whom have returned to their employment in order to be placed on the Scheme;
There is no doubt that we will spend years litigating the various disputes arising from the application of the Scheme, and the claims for financial support made thereunder.
Many employers have been ‘furloughing’ employees in response to the announcement made by Rishi Sunak, Chancellor of the Exchequer, on 20th March 2020 i.e. the creation of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (“the Scheme”). Since then there have been almost daily updates, variations and so-called clarifications of the rules of the Scheme from various Government departments and individuals.
There is no doubt that we will spend years litigating the various disputes arising from the application of the Scheme, and the claims for financial support made thereunder. For now, the headline points for all employers are: The Scheme allows employers to apply for a grant that covers 80% of their usual monthly wage costs, up to £2,500 a month, plus the associated Employer National Insurance
Any employer can claim for employees on any type of employment contract, including full-time, part-time, fixed-term, agency, flexible or zerohour contracts, those with multiple contracts/ employments and some other roles paid via PAYE;
The Scheme rules generously allow swapping between unpaid leave, sick leave, ‘shielding’ and other forms of leave; Any employees placed on furlough must be furloughed for a minimum period of 3 consecutive weeks. They cannot currently do ANY work for the employer or an associated employer during the furlough, but they can do training or volunteering. This is likely to change in August;
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When the employees return to work, they must be taken off furlough. Employees can be furloughed multiple times, but each separate instance must be for a minimum period of 3 consecutive weeks;
Unless specific words are used to suggest that a list is non-exhaustive, however, it can be difficult to argue that parties who set out a list of specific events but did not include a particular event still intended that event to be covered.
The Scheme does not alter the employment law obligations between employer and employee. Any furloughing must be done in a way which is “consistent with employment law”;
The headline points are:
Employers should keep up to date with and apply the Government’s Guidance issued from time to time. At the time of writing, the Guidance which was first published on 26th March 2020 is in its 8th revision. It can be found here - https://www.gov.uk/guidance/ claim-for-wage-costs-through-the-coronavirusjob-retention-scheme Employers should keep careful written records of the decisions they take and the reasons for taking them. If they have relied on Government guidance, articles, advice (from any source – including lawyers, HR consultants, accountants) etc. in reaching those decisions, keep copies of that advice too; Employers should make claims for financial support pursuant to the Scheme here: https:// www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-for-wagesthrough-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme
Some of the guidance which has been issued has been contradicted by other statements. Any employer which believes it has been misled by guidance issued or advice given should seek legal advice promptly. Both are capable of remedy, but a challenge to Government guidance or decisions needs to be brought promptly and is likely to require a process known as ‘judicial review’. “Force majeure”. Force majeure clauses are contractual clauses which alter parties’ obligations and/or liabilities when an extraordinary event or circumstance beyond their control prevents them from fulfilling those obligations. Depending on their drafting, such clauses may have a variety of consequences, ranging from excusing the affected party from performing the contract in part to giving that party a right to terminate altogether. Force majeure in English law is a creature of contract law. Therefore, whether a particular clause might relieve a party of contractual liability will depend on the precise wording used in the clause. Force majeure clauses will generally approach defining the type of force majeure event in one of two ways. The first is to list specific events such as “pandemic”. The second is to set out broad criteria to cover the types of situation which will qualify such as “biological contamination”. Where the relevant event is not specifically mentioned or covered, it is a question of interpretation of the clause whether the parties are to be taken as intending such an event to be covered in any event.
Any business struggling to comply with its contractual obligations as a result of the pandemic should consider whether those contracts contain written force majeure provisions; Increased costs alone will rarely be sufficient. The focus is on whether the event hinders or prevents performance, not simply whether it makes performance more expensive; A party seeking to rely on a force majeure clause must also show that the force majeure event caused the inability to perform or delayed performance; was due to circumstances beyond their control; and that there were no reasonable steps that they could have taken to avoid or mitigate the event or its consequences; A party seeking to rely on a force majeure clause must also comply with any procedural requirements under the contract, such as a requirement to give notice of its intention to rely on the clause; Timely legal advice is important and meanwhile, good records should be kept of difficulties experienced, their causes, and any decisions taken including mitigating actions. “Frustration”. If there is no force majeure clause in a contract or if the clause does not cover the situation, it may be possible to argue frustration instead. Both force majeure and frustration offer parties an escape from their contractual obligations, but there is an important difference: frustration results in automatic termination of the contract. The bar to making out a case of frustration is very high and successful cases are rare. Frustration occurs where the contract has been rendered, by the event, impossible, illegal or radically different from that which was contemplated by the parties. Moreover, given that frustration automatically terminates the contract, a party needs to be very sure of its position before asserting it: get this wrong and an expensive damages claim may follow. Nevertheless, both the spectre of force majeure and frustration may, in the current unprecedented circumstances, at least give a party enough of a platform for a sensible commercial negotiation about amending contractual terms, either for the period of the pandemic or generally. For further advice on any of these issues, please do not hesitate to contact Paladin on 0345 222 0 111 or at email@example.com
L EGAL Pa l adi n
Financial support from business lawyers? Unprecedented. There’s a lot of difference between us and most other lawyers. We do our business like businesspeople. Our unique business model allowed (thankfully) a seamless adjustment to Covid-19 and the ‘lockdown’. In fact, we’re actively recruiting like-minded business lawyers. And we’re adjusting our fees to support struggling local businesses who need us. Just tell us what terms you need and if we can help, we will. After all, we’re all in this together. We’re THE lawyers for local business. In these unprecedented times, we can help. Commercial law | Employment law | Shareholder disputes | Intellectual property HR consultancy | Investigation services | Mediation | Data and Privacy
E: firstname.lastname@example.org T: 0345 222 0111
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BUSINESS SUPPORT FOR DISTRESSED CLIENTS As the COVID-19 crisis is escalating, companies are having to act fast to minimise the impact on their business.
egbies Traynor has provided guidance below that businesses can follow to survive the challenges over the coming months:
Talk to your business support network Your business insurance might provide the cover you need if your business has to stop trading indefinitely. Check your policy wording as you might have Business Interruption cover in your commercial insurance policy – speak to your insurer if you are not sure. Talk to your bank about possible emergency finance options. The British Business Bank has set up the Coronavirus Business Interruption Lending Scheme which will provide your lender with a government-backed 80% guarantee against the outstanding facility balance. And the Bank of England has set up the COVID Corporate Financing Facility (CCFF) to provide short-term funding for larger corporations.
Ask your customers – particularly larger companies – to pay your outstanding invoices. Talk to the Government through their business support helplines, some of which are dedicated to COVID-19. They have implemented a number of support schemes, such as: The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme to help retain staff when a business has been forced to stop trading. Companies will now be able to reclaim Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) that has been paid to employees for up to two weeks. Grants for SMEs – Non-repayable cash grants will be made available to help those in the retail, leisure, and hospitality industry. Many smaller businesses outside of these sectors will also be entitled to a government grant
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Ask your landlord for some breathing space if you are experiencing a drop in trade which is impacting on your ability to pay the rent. Contact your local council to discuss business rates such as a temporary payment holiday.
Get free professional advice Talk to a ‘Time To Pay’ specialist who can defer your tax payments to HMRC. HMRC has already announced that they are waiving late payment penalties and interest for missed tax payments, but you should make every effort to get Time To Pay in place rather than assuming the Revenue will provide automatic breathing space.
Emergency funding can help businesses navigate through troubled waters. There are many different funding options available – such as bridging loans, extended overdrafts and invoice factoring. Directors should also take extra care not to create individual financial exposure through overdrawn directors’ loan accounts and late payments that can breach personal guarantees. Take time to understand the options available to you and your business if cash flow worsens and the business becomes insolvent, which means there are insufficient funds to pay bills as and when they fall due. Speak to one of our licensed insolvency practitioners completely free of charge and find out what options might be available to you.
HMRC advice – including the deferral of the upcoming quarterly VAT payment for businesses, and the deferral of Self-Assessment payments for the self-employed. It has been confirmed that these payments, which were originally scheduled for 31 July 2020, will now not be due until January 2021.
Free business rescue and recovery advice from Begbies Traynor
If your business is experiencing a downturn in trade, restructuring your business operations could provide more time going forward to get back on your feet. Mitigating losses is key in times of financial distress, so take advice on which parts of your business could be streamlined or cut back.
For further information or advice, please contact:
There are also formal procedures available to companies in the form of a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) which shields businesses from creditor pressure and allows them to settle unpaid debts over time.
UK businesses are facing a challenge like no other; the COVID-19 pandemic presents a huge threat to livelihoods across the country. Business distress is accelerating on an unprecedented scale and taking swift action is absolutely critical.
Kenny Craig M: 07446 947567 E: email@example.com Ken Pattullo M: 07786 951511 E: firstname.lastname@example.org Thomas Mckay M: 07980 837146 E: email@example.com Simon Watson M: 07432 559945 E: firstname.lastname@example.org
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ARE YOU STILL INNOVATING IN LOCKDOWN BRITAIN? Just because we are in lockdown, doesn’t mean you can’t be innovating. It just means you’ve been having to do things a little bit differently, a bit like the Government.
ou can’t fault them for the Innovative ways they are finding to support British Business, whether it’s allowing the furloughing of staff, the development of a portal to report details of those staff that have been furloughed, the creation of 4 new funding streams to get cash to Britain’ Limited companies, developing a new portal for the self-employed to access funding, the ramping up of new testing facilities for COVID swabs or the development of a contact tracing app to warn you of people you’ve been in contact with who may have been infected. All of these are innovations, and some of them, if they had been developed by or in the private sector might have been eligible for Research and Development Tax Credits.
COODEN TAX CONSULTING www.coodentaxconsulting.co.uk
We’ve been working on a journey to automate a lot of our back end procedures to try and streamline the work and make the customer journey more consistent. We’ve starting using Practice Ignition for our contracting and Xero for our accounting and the two can integrate with one another. Practice Ignition also integrates with our CRM system Really Simple Systems, so we should begin to see some tangible benefits in the not too distant future.
It’s not quite the same for our clients. Based on the conversations we’ve had with them there’s a very broad spectrum of how they have been coping. Those involved in Software and Tech Development have managed to retain a strong semblance of business as normal, albeit with desktop collaboration replaced by collaboration through Zoom or Microsoft Teams collaboration. I know from my experience, that it’s good, but it’s not quite the same but it has been a very useful resource in the short to medium term, but they can’t wait to get back together to get the creative juices flowing even more strongly. That contrasts very strongly with those businesses involved in Manufacturing or Engineering. Although many of them have been able to maintain social distancing, and could continue to operate, many have found that they have been unable to continue to work anywhere close to capacity, either because their supply chains have dried up or their customers have closed down and are no longer accepting any Goods In. As a result, many have either mothballed
the site or maintained a skeleton workforce to continue to service those jobs for businesses that have managed to stay open. Which brings us on to a final sector, the food and beverage sector, with the great British public going on a buying spree in late March and early April to stock up the cupboards and the freezers, those business baking, or processing meat have never been busier and have had to shelve/delay their plans for R&D Tax Relief claims to focus on ramping up production whilst maintaining social-distancing, which in some circumstances has led to 24 hour production with an over night shift. We’ve also been speaking to a number of innovation agencies that we network with, these are generally business that support SME product development, depending on their market, they have broadly reflected the situation their customers have found themselves in. One agency who supports customers with tangible new product development have seen their work shrink significantly as businesses cut back on their external costs to focus on survival. Whereas one helping companies to develop new recipes or to look at reducing the costs of their end products by considering alternative ingredients, have stayed fairly busy.
What next? We’ll have to wait and see what shape this recovery is, I know I am hoping it’s going to be a tick shaped recovery, but Boris has just announced his first measures to try and take us out of lockdown, and I think many people will be having to find ways to try and implement them. What we do know from past recessions is that those companies that manage to continue with their marketing efforts and their innovation efforts, will be the ones that come out on the other side the strongest. Not all of these “innovations” will qualify for R&D Tax Credits, but many will. If you’d like to know whether what you’ve done in the your last two financial years, what you’re doing now, or what you are planning for the future might qualify for a claim, then please get in contact for a free 15 minute chat, you can book an appointment at www.calendly. com/simon-bulteel. In the meantime, keep innovating and stay alert.
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BLOW ME DOWN East of England firm awarded multi-million pound contract on East Anglia ONE windfarm
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cottishPower Renewables has awarded an East of England offshore renewables service provider a multi-million-pound contract to work on the largest windfarm being developed in East Anglia. CWind has been awarded a contract worth up to £8.2million for work on the East Anglia ONE offshore windfarm. The company will provide below water services, including subsea maintenance of the foundations and offshore substation, subsea surveys and any corrective maintenance, as well as pre-engineering studies.
EAST ANGLIA ONE www.spreaanglia.co.uk
The three-year contract, with options for two further one-year extensions, will see CWind staff working both onshore and offshore servicing the windfarm. It will also create new employment opportunities throughout the supply chain. CWind, part of the Global Marine Group, provides topside, subsea and engineering services to the offshore renewables and utilities market with experience at over 50 UK and European offshore wind farms, supporting over 12GW power generated by the offshore wind sector. To date, ScottishPower Renewables has handed a wide range of contracts to companies across the East of England, reinforcing its commitment to working with local suppliers on East Anglia ONE. The developer has pledged to spend over £70 million with businesses across the region to support the development of the windfarm. East Anglia ONE is due to be fully operational later this year, with turbine installation currently well underway and the operations and maintenance base now fully operational. Charlie Jordan, Project Director at ScottishPower
Renewables, said: “The East Anglian supply chain has provided us with an abundance of exceptional contractors that have the skill and capability to bring the East Anglia ONE project to life. CWind is another one of these suppliers and we look forward to working with them going forward. “The region has become a hive of excellence in the offshore wind sector and we are committed to working further with local businesses on our current and future East Anglia windfarms.” Nathanael Allison, Managing Director at CWind, said: “We are thrilled that ScottishPower has chosen CWind to manage the balance of plant for below water services for East Anglia ONE. Our years of expertise in subsea engineering services make us well suited to take on this contract and we look forward to helping the project reach completion and maintain this development in the future. This contract supports our drive to grow our East Coast hub, which is the centre of our operations in delivery of the project. This hub is part of our company’s just transition in helping people transfer skills from past industries such as fishing, into the offshore wind sector. It will also create new employment opportunities, both within CWind and throughout its supply chain.” Located 43km off the Suffolk coast, East Anglia ONE, a joint venture between ScottishPower Renewables and Macquarie’s Green Investment Group (GIG), is a £2.5 billion project which could provide enough clean energy to power the equivalent of more than 630,000 homes annually*. It is the first of four offshore windfarms ScottishPower Renewables is developing in the region. For more information about East Anglia ONE visit: www.spreastanglia.co.uk
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The region has become a hive of excellence in the offshore wind sector and we are committed to working further with local businesses on our current and future East Anglia windfarms.
CHARLIE JORDAN PROJECT DIRECTOR, SCOTTISHPOWER RENEWABLES
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A GUIDE TO REMOTE LEADERSHIP DURING THE CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK In recent weeks, many people will have begun working from home for the very first time due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. In this time of change and uncertainty, good leadership has never been more important.
or leaders used to a vibrant, buzzing office atmosphere, many are finding out that the sudden requirement to direct, inspire and reassure a remote team is not easily done, even more so when anxieties in that team surrounding the Coronavirus outbreak and future job security is thrown into the mix.
outbreak can be fearful for us all, so being as transparent as possible about how the situation is being managed by the business is essential. Regular updates and discussions about concerns and what is being done to keep jobs secure can help to put employee minds at ease and optimise performance.
Everyone seems to be on hand with reams of (mostly contradictory!) pieces of advice, so in an effort to help these leaders manage their newfound remote teams, we spoke to MaST, leadership development experts, who shared 4 of their crucial tips for effective remote leadership.
No 3 - Counter fear of change
No 1 - Communicate regularly The top complaint from remote workers is most commonly a lack of effective communication. Communication is a fundamental part of any business and without it, organisations quickly develop disengaged employees, reduced collaboration, task misunderstanding, unclear goals and much more. A low-level of communication can also have a significant impact on employee wellbeing and mental health. General conversation is an overlooked part of morale in workplace, but in unprecedented isolation, ensuring good communication may well be at the core of team wellbeing and engagement.
No 2 - Be transparent A sense of trust is central to high functioning teams but is undermined by fear and a sense of threat. The economic uncertainty surrounding the Coronavirus
It isn’t change itself that is feared, rather the threat to the individual from that change. When looking at neuroscience, change activates a threat circuitry and can quickly expose worries of failure, rejection and criticism in employees. Helping employees to recognise these emotions and promoting the many benefits of remote working can help to counter fear. Collaborative working can significantly counter negative thinking and increase a feeling of value in the individual’s place in the team.
No 4 - Remember, one size doesn’t fit all There is likely to be a significant work-life conflict amongst employees, which will have a direct impact on time management and productivity. Understanding how best to deploy the individual resources in your team will mean you develop a smooth running, truly collaborative way of working and you’ll find yourself managing a highly effective team. For further information on remote leadership and MaST’s remote learning programmes, contact email@example.com / +44 (0)1628 784062.
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TOP 3 DATA SECURITY RISKS WHILE WORKING FROM HOME Lockdown in the UK has seen a sharp increase in employees working from home. This has opened the floodgates to numerous forms of data transmission back and forth between remote employees and their office.
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he result is that data security risks have risen significantly. Not only is this down to human error (although that is the most common form of data breach), but also includes fraudsters looking to exploit the vulnerability of businesses. The fallout from coronavirus-related breaches may not become clear for weeks, months or even longer. So, what are the most common risks?
Borrowing company equipment Most employees will have been loaned computers and other devices to use while working remotely. Companies need to carefully consider potential risks and understand how they can be mitigated. If employees are not using a virtual private network (VPN) to access shared company assets, then maybe now is the time to do so. Home WiFi networks are not likely to be as secure as a work network. Using a VPN will help to protect the connection, otherwise this could leave services exposed to hacking and allow unauthorised access to data. Another common risk is the standard of PC security software. Employees may find their home PC is faster than the work laptop they’ve been given to use. Maybe they have used a USB stick to transfer large files back and forth between the PCs to speed things up. Clear protocols must be in place to prevent such practices. Whether it is web security gateways, cloud security defences, encryption, or anti-malware applications, the reality is that significantly fewer of these are likely to be available at home or, if they are available, they could be poorly configured. The use of one-time codes sent to trusted phones or using a one-time PIN generation app, can help.
Using online video calls and video software Zoom is just one of several popular online conference tools that employees have been using to stay connected. But all screensharing apps have vulnerabilities if not used correctly and the right security protocols are not adhered to.
with effective training. In turn this will avoid fines from the Information Commissioner’s Office and the potential reputational damage that follows. Ninety percent of the 2376 cyberbreaches reported to the ICO last year were caused by end-user mistakes. With the rise in homeworking, this figure is likely to rise dramatically over the coming months. Sending emails to the wrong recipients, downloading a malware-infected attachment or failing to use a strong password are all ways that human error could ultimately lead to a data breach. Many of these lapses in judgement happen due to lack of knowledge, because the employee is tired, distracted or not paying attention.
Minimising risk There is no better time than the present to raise the security awareness of employees through training. Such training will remind people about good remote security practices.
iCaaS is The Trusted Standard in Data Protection and, in addition to its data security platform, provides highly cost effective training for all staff. This training is comprehensive, low cost and provided online. In conjunction with the iCaaS cloud-based, data compliance solution the training supports companies to become and remain GDPR compliant. The iCaaS software does all the hard work of achieving compliance and ultimately minimises the risk of data breaches – especially those posed by home working. By securing your business the iCaaS platform will save you time and money. More importantly it will secure your staff and help to build confidence and trust within your customer base.
With over 90% of cyber data breaches down to human error, you can reduce the risk of breaches
For further information, go to: www.myicaas.com/home-working
Meeting calls that are not secured by a password can be easily attacked by hackers. Businesses must ensure their teams only send meeting invitations with an associated password – especially if it contains sensitive information. This includes financial spreadsheets, HR files and CRM databases. This will also limit the risk of a data breach. The use of a strong password, created by a random password generator will help to provide a link which cannot easily be hacked.
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COVID-19: HOW HOME WORKING IS INCREASING CYBER VULNERABILITY The overnight move to a virtual workplace has resulted in a cyber crime surge, with unprepared businesses at increased risk of being exploited, Intqual-pro has warned.
ollowing advice and restrictions to help slow the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, businesses worldwide have closed their doors and sent staff to work from home for an unknown duration. With many unprepared and unaware of the cyber security risks involved with remote working, online fraudsters have begun to capitalise on vulnerability. Figures from the National Economic Crime Centre in early April reveal that more that 500 Coronavirus-related scams and over 2,000 phishing emails had been reported to investigators in the UK. Losses among those targeted totalled £1.6 million, with this figure expected to rise. Consumers are being continuously warned by regulators of schemes including bank payment frauds and data phishing attempts, but businesses too must remain vigilant.
through impersonation has included senior executives requesting fund transfers, suppliers changing bank details to divert payments and landlords agreeing to a rent deferral in return for a down payment. Amid the pandemic and global cyber crime surge, Intqual-pro have launched the latest phase of the Cyber Stars Initiative, Cyber Stars 365, to help business gain true insight into employee cyber security awareness. Intqual-pro’s representative added: “We believe the launch of Cyber Stars 365 has came at an important time. Many businesses will be looking to educate their staff on cyber security as a result of increased risk, but it is vital to gain insight into cyber awareness understanding for training to effective. Cyber Stars 365 has been developed to provide a cost effective, efficient and sustainable solution to ongoing cyber awareness training and metrics.”
The cyber threat of a home/remote working environment shouldn’t be unexpected by businesses, but the current pandemic has created an increased exploitative opportunity for cyber criminals.
A representative at Intqual-pro said: “The cyber threat of a home/remote working environment shouldn’t be unexpected by businesses, but the current pandemic has created an increased exploitative opportunity for cyber criminals. It is crucial that businesses encourage increased awareness and personal responsibility for cyber security amongst all employees.”
One key threat comes from a lack of face-to-face communication, making it difficult to verify identities. This vulnerability allows fraudsters to target businesses through impersonation. In recent incidents, Coronavirus-related spear phishing
INTQUAL PRO www.intqual-pro.com
The Cyber Stars 365 platform allows an organisation to provide a snapshot of understanding and risk at any given time, identifying those with legitimate training needs, without providing additional unnecessary training to those that already can demonstrate an effective level of competence. To arrange a Cyber Stars 365 trial or to find out more information, contact enquiries@intqual-pro. com / 01234 381158
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CORONAVIRUS: COUNTERING FRAUD IN A GLOBAL PANDEMIC Fraud attacks have surged over recent weeks, with criminals looking to exploit human vulnerability and fear amid the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
t a time of uncertainty, it is essential for counter fraud sectors to join forces and help encourage fraud awareness throughout businesses and the general public. According to reports received by Action Fraud, losses among those targeted by fraud scams currently total £1.6 million, with as many as 50 scams being reported daily. In a rare public announcement, intelligence agency GCHQ have also warned the public about Coronavirus-themed phishing emails. Globally, trusted organisations including the World Health Organisation and NHS England have been impersonated by malicious actors.
Lord Toby Harris, chairman of National Trading Standards (NTS), said: "I urge everyone to be on their guard for possible COVID-19 scams and to look out for vulnerable family members, friends and neighbours who may become a target for fraudsters.” The latest fraud scams include, HMRC tax rebates, donation requests to help support the NHS, Government texts notifying people they have been fined for leaving their homes more than once during lockdown and Coronavirus awareness messages targeting healthcare professionals. The UK's National Fraud Intelligence Bureau also reported that the British public have been defrauded out of more than £800,000 by online criminals offering fake offers on surgical face masks.
An undisclosed number of the fraud reports have been passed onto police forces. A spokesperson at Intelligencia Training said: “The surge in fraud presents a significant financial threat in an uncertain economic climate. It is clear we can expect to see these types of attacks increase over the coming weeks and we all need to take extra vigilance.” “Effective investigation is key for counter fraud sectors to protect the public and businesses from those using the global emergency as an exploitative opportunity. As an organisation dedicated to raising standards in counter fraud investigation, we aim to play our part through the continued delivery of industry developed training programmes.” Intelligencia Training began delivering the new Counter Fraud Investigator Apprenticeship Standard earlier this year, adding to its to its portfolio of intelligence and risk apprenticeships. Helping to ensure parity across counter fraud sectors, Cabinet Office, HMRC, NHS Counter Fraud Authority and several local authorities are among the industry expert employers who developed the innovative programme. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org / 01925 876051 for further information.
COV ID / BU SIN ESS SU PPORT
S o ut h C ambr id geshire D ist r ic t Co unc il and C ambr id ge C i t y Co unc i l
NEW GREATER CAMBRIDGE FORUM PLEDGES TO WORK WITH FIRMS ON ROAD TO RECOVERY A forum to support businesses through lockdown and on the road to economic recovery has been launched by South Cambridgeshire District Council and Cambridge City Council.
he Greater Cambridge Business Forum aims to explore the concerns of local firms grappling with the Coronavirus crisis and find out how best to help them. Council leaders are working with Cambridgeshire Chambers of Commerce, the Federation of Small Businesses, Cambridge BID and other key business network groups to find ways to plug any support gaps and build business confidence in preparation for the long-awaited ‘bounce back’. The initiative is supported by the Greater Cambridge Partnership (GCP) and is working closely with the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority (CPCA) Mayoral Business Forum and the Local Resilience Forum’s Economic Recovery sub-group. At the Greater Cambridge Business Forum’s first virtual meeting held on Wednesday 6 May, local business representatives shared some of their most pressing issues, ranging from financial support for small home-based firms to future plans to encourage the return of high street spending. The initiative comes in the wake of the councils’ combined success in handing over more than £40m in Government Coronavirus support grants to 85% of around 3,000 eligible small firms Intensive efforts are continuing to track down remaining businesses that have yet to apply for the funding and to hear from those who don’t meet the Government’s strict criteria but who may be eligible for other forms of support. Meanwhile, the GCP, in partnership with the CPCA, has commissioned a study to assess the local economic impact of COVID-19 to help identify short to longer-term measures that the forum and other partners can take to get local businesses and people back on their feet. South Cambridgeshire District Council Leader, Cllr Bridget Smith, told the meeting local firms were vital to both the regional and national economy. She said: “We are all in this together and we will only get out of this together. So, we will continue to work with local and national government and the very accomplished business networks in our
area to get our business communities through these very difficult times. If we all pull together, Greater Cambridge will recover well and quickly.” Cambridge City Council Leader, Cllr Lewis Herbert, said “getting the Cambridge area economy safely out of lockdown and on to strong foundations for the new normal” was the “biggest economic and social recovery challenge we have had to face in our lifetimes, with maximising the future reemployment of local people a central objective.” He added: “Giving confidence to our Greater Cambridge businesses big and small is critical to achieving that. Our two councils, working with the Combined Authority, will assist our highly capable and effective business networks and help businesses and other organisations get people back to work and support businesses in the challenges they face over the coming two years.”
SOUTH CAMBRIDGESHIRE DISTRICT COUNCIL & CAMBRIDGE CITY COUNCIL www.scambs.gov.uk www.cambridge.gov.uk
If you need business support or would like to get advice about what’s available, visit www.scambs. gov.uk/coronavirus or www.cambridge.gov.uk/ coronavirus or email GreaterCambridge.Business@ Cambridgeshire.gov.uk
COVI D / B US I N ES S S U P P O RT Cambridge City Council
COUNCIL NEEDS BUSINESSES TO COMPLETE ONLINE APPLICATION FOR GRANT SUPPORT Businesses are being urged to provide information to Cambridge City Council for financial support grants that they are eligible to receive as part of the national response to the coronavirus crisis. Small business grant funding of £10,000 for all businesses in receipt of Small Business Rate Relief; Grant funding of £10,000 for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with a rateable value of £15,000 and below; Grant funding of £25,000 for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with a rateable value between £15,001 and £51,000. The council received just over £22 million funding from the government to pay these grants but has had difficulty contacting some businesses to provide them with the details of the application form. Cllr Richard Robertson, Executive Councillor for Finance and Resources, said: “I am pleased that we have already been able to get grants quickly to over half of the eligible businesses in Cambridge. “We know how important this money is in helping businesses gain access to cash during this crisis.
he council has so far (as of 16 April) paid out £13 million in grants to more than 50% of the smaller businesses within the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors eligible in Cambridge. Nationally, councils had paid out 30% of grants (by Wednesday). The council started paying out grants last week after identifying around 1,350 businesses considered to be eligible but there are still approximately 500 businesses that have not yet completed an online validation form.
“We are processing the grants speedily to make sure the money reaches businesses’ bank accounts as soon as possible but we have not been able to contact or get a response from some businesses. “I would encourage all eligible businesses to complete the form on our website as soon as possible to get the help they are entitled to. “This is a really tough time for businesses who cannot trade or have suffered big reductions in income and we will continue to give them all the help we can both directly and through their representative organisations.”
The grant does not have to be repaid as it is not a loan, but an online validation form does need to be completed for the grant to be paid. Businesses can complete the secure online form at: https:// forms.cambridge.gov.uk/BUSINESSGRANTS/ launch
Those businesses in Cambridge in the retail, hospitality and leisure sector who have premises with a rateable value under £51,000 and have not yet submitted a validation form can do so at: https://forms.cambridge.gov.uk/ BUSINESSGRANTS/launch
To qualify for the grant the business must be either receiving Small Business Rate Relief or the business activity must fall into the expanded retail, hospitality or leisure sectors. The grants cover:
When the online form is completed, the council’s team validates this against details already held to address the risk of fraudulent claims. The council then pays the grant into the eligible businesses’ bank accounts without further delay.
COV ID / BU SIN ESS SU PPORT
E a st Suf fol k Co unc il & Suf fol k Co unt y Co unc i l
COUNCIL LEADERS CALL ON EDF ENERGY TO FULLY CONSULT WITH LOCAL AUTHORITIES BEFORE ANY PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT COMMENCES Leaders of East Suffolk Council and Suffolk County Council have written to EDF Energy, urging them to fully consider how and when they will consult with local communities as part of the planning process for a new Sizewell C power station on the Suffolk coast.
DF Energy plan to submit their Development Consent Order to the Government’s Planning Inspectorate in the next few weeks which triggers a formal process and timescale which includes a period of formal public engagement. Whilst the two councils remain supportive of EDF Energy making the DCO submission, both councils are calling on the energy provider to consult with the two local authorities regarding their plans for speaking to the public. There is concern that any period of consultation that begins during the current Covid-19 Pandemic will not give the community the fullest opportunity possible to engage. In a joint statement, Leader of East Suffolk Council, Cllr Steve Gallant and Leader of Suffolk County Council, Cllr Matthew Hicks said: “Given the current Government guidance on social distancing, social isolation and public gatherings, we ask EDF Energy to delay the Section 56
consultation until such time as all parties are satisfied that appropriate public engagement can take place. “Many of our staff are currently redeployed to support their local communities and the risk of sickness and self-isolation from the virus remains high. We are concerned that even in a few weeks’ time, it may still be incredibly challenging to consider entering a period of consultation on such an important subject. “We feel that everyone who is interested in this development should be given the best possible opportunity to have their say. Before EDF Energy commences any public engagement, we would like them to commit to speaking to both authorities and the Government’s Planning Inspectorate so we can work with EDF Energy to see if a suitable solution can be found that works for all our communities.”
EAST SUFFOLK COUNCIL & SUFFOLK COUNTY COUNCIL www.eastsuffolk.gov.uk www.suffolk.gov.uk
E CON OMI C DE V E LO PM E NT O p p or t u ni t y Pe te r b oro u g h
ECO N O M IC D EV ELO PMENT O p p or t uni t y Pe terb oro u g h
FLYING THE FLAG FOR PETERBOROUGH Keeping one eye on the future is as important as ever, current crisis mode notwithstanding. HELEN COMPSON hears what one economic development company is doing today and tomorrow to support the businesses in its care.
E CON OMI C DE V E LO PM E NT O p p or t u ni t y Pe te r b oro u g h
Peterborough city centre
he announcement in May that retail distribution company AM Fresh was expanding to create another 300 to 400 jobs in Peterborough was more than just a good news story. It also illustrated that while Covid had called for a plethora of emergency short-term planning, East Anglia still had one eye on the future - long-term strategic planning had continued to tick away quietly in the background. For the already well-established AM Fresh, the end result in this particular instance is more people supplying more tropical fruits, superfoods and flowers to the big supermarkets. For Opportunity Peterborough, it is an equally healthy sign – it indicates (some) business as usual. Its chief executive, Tom Hennessy, said: “We have continued to receive enquiries from across the private sector, as well as through the Department for International Trade, with the long-term in mind, particularly from larger companies considering making a considerable investment in the city. “Yes, people are having to deal with short and medium term impacts, but there is still a focus on delivering long term strategies.” A private not-for-profit business owned by Peterborough City Council, it was founded in 2005 as an urban regeneration company. Within a few short years, its remit had evolved to lead the city’s economic development as a whole. One of its core responsibilities is to hold the door open for inward investment, by making sure the world at large appreciates Peterborough’s assets. “This city is a great location for businesses to come and set up,” said Tom, “whether they are a UK
business wanting to expand or whether they are a foreign-owned business looking to establish a presence in the UK. “Either way, it is up to us to present the city in its best light and to promote the fact it is able to meet their investment criteria.” Opportunity Peterborough’s other key responsibility is to support the growth ambitions of those who have already demonstrated their faith in this oh-so viable alternative to London. “Again, that can mean supporting the ambitions of overseas companies or UK companies from outside the area, but it does also include our local businesses too,” he said. “One of the best ways of promoting your area and attracting new businesses in is by creating the right business conditions on the ground, and that is down to long-term strategic planning. “Often that is about supporting your existing business community, because if outside investors see that existing businesses are thriving due to the support they are receiving they will want to come here.” By far the largest proportion of the business community – no less than 98 % - are small or micro-enterprises. To put it in context though, they provide 52% of jobs locally. The other 48% of jobs are down to the 11% that are the big-name employers. So, as Tom stresses, employers both big and small are needed for a balanced mix. Ostensibly, there are two ‘source’ locations where companies with Peterborough in their sights are coming from. One is London, of course. Professional services
ECO N O M IC D EV ELO PMENT O p p or t uni t y Pe terb oro u g h
companies in particular can make huge cost savings by moving the hub of their operations out of the Big Smoke. And the other is Europe. Many a company headquartered in the Netherlands, Poland, France, Spain, Denmark andNorway have chosen Peterborough for their UK start-up. The sectors they work in have been equally varied, although manufacturing, logistics and distribution are the most prominent . Tom said: “Connectivity is a key attraction, alongside the competitive cost of doing business here. “Land and property is relatively inexpensive compared to a lot of locations in close proximity to London, and it is on more than one of the main transport routes. “When they finish upgrading the East Coast mainline, Peterborough will be just 39 minutes from King’s Cross.” It is also on the main A1 corridor as well as the A14, so a double draw for warehousing and distribution companies, but the demographics of the city shouldn’t be underestimated either. It is one of the fastest growing cities in the country and the 200,000 plus population not only boasts a younger and more multi-skilled profile than most, but also an enviable level of flexibility and adaptability. “That’s of great interest to most investors,” said Tom, “and particularly for companies looking to establish their back-office operations somewhere close to London.” Incomers from Europe in recent times have included Dutch paint specialist Anker Stuy, and the Danish personal hygiene products company Coloplast, which has just reinvested by building a new 150,000 square foot manufacturing and distribution centre on one of Greater Peterborough’s business parks. The conurbation, which is well endowed with business parks in general, also has six business incubators that specifically support start-ups – helping all manner of enterprises get off the blocks – and there is an ambitious strategic regeneration programme under way with a gross development value of £500m. With the latter, Peterborough City Council is working with organisations such as Network Rail, LNER, and the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority to redevelop areas of North Westgate, Northminster, the University of Peterborough campus, the Station Quarter around the city’s bustling train station, and the Northern Embankment. “We are working on a masterplan for the redevelopment of Station Quarter,” said Tom. “It
Anker Stuy opening l-r, Simon Coward (Opportunity Peterborough), Emile Stuy (Anker Stuy), John Stuy (Anker Stuy), Ann Wardle (then Opportunity Peterborough) and Mr Simon Smits, Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
includes a new railway station and car park and the development of grade A office space, which would be attractive to people who want to be close to King’s Cross and central London.” Attention during the past few weeks, though, has been primarily focused on helping existing businesses survive the impact of Covid 19. Opportunity Peterborough has worked closely with the city council on rolling out the government’s small business grants programme and the retail, hospitality & leisure grants programme. As of the first week in May, over £27m had been shared out amongst 2,465 small, local businesses. “Over 90% of eligible businesses have now received their grant funding, which is one of the highest rates in the eastern region,” he said. Going forward, his team are working with the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority on a scheme to both help people who have lost their jobs find new ones and companies fill new vacancies – quickly! And they are carrying out a comprehensive survey to establish to what extent businesses have been affected by the pandemic. They want to know not only what the short-term impact has been, but also what the long-term requirements will be. Tom said: “Maybe they will want to learn how to better adopt digital practices and business models, so they can diversify, or perhaps they will want help in accessing additional grants and funding.
TOM HENNESSY Opportunity Peterborough www.opportunitypeterborough.co.uk
“We are talking to them about a whole range of topics and their answers will shape the nature of the help they can expect to receive not only from us, but from the combined authority and central government too.”
E CON OMI C DE V E LO PM E NT
NEW RAIL LINK TO OXFORD FOR SUFFOLK AND NORFOLK Local authorities in Suffolk and Norfolk are exploring how a new rail link to Oxford can benefit both counties.
he Secretary of State for Transport, Grant Shapps MP, announced at the end of January a preferred route for a new rail line between Cambridge and Bedford, which will form the missing rail link between Cambridge and Oxford. The East West Rail Consortium, alongside Suffolk and Norfolk county councils and its local authority partners, are now commissioning a new study to improve the rail frequency between Ipswich/ Norwich to Cambridge, and to determine whether passenger and freight rail services can connect directly to Oxford. If successful, the rail link would avoid the need to use more congested routes on the Great Eastern Main Line and on cross country routes via Ely.
The study will be used to develop a business case to submit to Government to seek funding to design and deliver new rail track and infrastructure on the lines between Ipswich/Norwich to Cambridge. The agreement to commission the study comes at a pivotal time for East West Rail. Alongside the announcement on the route between Bedford and Cambridge in January, earlier this month permission was also granted to start major construction work on the section between Oxford and Bedford. The link from East Anglia to Oxford via Bedford and Milton Keynes is being developed to support housing and job growth expected over the next 20 years.
ECO N O M IC D EV ELO PMENT
The development of the business case will be led by the East West Rail Consortium’s Eastern Section Group, which has representation from local authorities across Suffolk, Norfolk and Cambridgeshire and is chaired by Cllr Alexander Nicoll, Deputy Cabinet Member for Transport at Suffolk County Council. Cllr Nicoll said: “We are working with the East West Rail Consortium to understand whether we can improve capacity on the existing rail lines between Suffolk/Norfolk and Cambridge, so that we can achieve an increase in frequency of passenger rail services. “We also want to understand whether we can achieve direct connectivity with Oxford rail services. The work of the Eastern Section will be critical in understanding what needs to be done and how we can drive the project forward, as well as connect with new economic hubs, such as the Biomedical Campus in South Cambridge.” Councillor Andrew Reid, Cabinet Member for Highways, Transport and Rural Affairs at Suffolk County Council, said: “A rail link between Suffolk and Oxford is a huge opportunity to connect our industries to new markets
in other areas, such as Milton Keynes and Oxford. “It also provides new rail opportunities for people to travel directly to the South West, as well as for the transportation of goods from our ports. “This all contributes to removing more vehicles from our roads, reducing the county’s carbon footprint and enabling us to grow our industries in a sustainable way.” Cllr Martin Wilby, Norfolk County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways and Infrastructure, said: “A new east west rail line, connecting Cambridge to Oxford, will transform rail services, allowing people to get to places like Oxford, Bedford and Milton Keynes without having to go via London. The work being progressed by the East West Rail Consortium will set out the case for providing direct services to Norwich, meaning that travellers from the county wouldn’t even have to change trains.” The route of the section between Cambridge and Bedford will be subject to further public consultation before the detailed route is confirmed. The East West Rail Consortium and its Eastern Section Group is anticipating results from its rail study and business case to be completed by the end of the year.
COVI D / GOVE R NM E NT S U PPO RT H M Tre a s u r y
GOVERNMENT TO SUPPORT BUSINESSES THROUGH TRADE CREDIT INSURANCE GUARANTEE Businesses with supply chains which rely on Trade Credit Insurance and who are experiencing difficulties maintaining cover due to Coronavirus will get support from the government, the Economic Secretary to the Treasury, John Glen has announced.
COV ID / G OV ERN M EN T SU PP ORT HM Tre a s ur y
rade Credit Insurance provides cover to hundreds of thousands of business to business transactions, particularly in non-service sectors, such as manufacturing and construction. It insures suppliers selling goods against the company they are selling to defaulting on payment, giving businesses the confidence to trade with one another. But due to Coronavirus and businesses struggling to pay bills, they risk having credit insurance withdrawn, or premiums increasing to unaffordable levels.
The guarantees will cover trading by domestic firms and exporting firms and the intent is for agreements to be in place with insurers by end of this month.
To prevent this from happening, the government will temporarily guarantee business-to-business transactions currently supported by Trade Credit Insurance, ensuring the majority of insurance coverage will be maintained across the market. This will support supply chains and help businesses to trade with confidence as they can trust that they will be protected if a customer defaults on payment.
The Economic Secretary to the Treasury, John Glen said:
The guarantee will be temporary and targeted to cover CV-19 economic challenges, and will provisionally last until the end of the year. It will be followed by a review of the TCI market to ensure it can continue to support businesses in future. Further details will be announced in due course.
BCC Director General Adam Marshall said: The government has demonstrated once again that it is listening to the concerns of our business communities.
The government has demonstrated once again that it is listening to the concerns of our business communities.
This country’s businesses are crucial in helping us to kick start the economy as we get back to work, and I will do everything I can to help support them through this difficult time. By guaranteeing business-to-business transactions currently supported by Trade Credit Insurance, we will help to maintain a vital cog in our economy. This is on top of an unprecedented package of support we have put in place to help protect individuals, businesses and the economy. Business Minister, Paul Scully, said:
Giving businesses the confidence to continue trading is vital to seeing us through this crisis. This guarantee will be essential as we seek to reopen new sectors of the economy and get the UK back to work in a way that is safe for everyone.
The launch of a government-backed guarantee to support the provision of trade credit insurance will help ensure that this vital lifeline remains available to businesses during and after this crisis, helping to maintain supply chains and trade. CBI Chief Economist Rain Newton-Smith, said:
HM TREASURY www.gov.uk/government/ organisations/hm-treasury
The government’s decision to backstop trade credit insurance will protect thousands of jobs and allow many businesses across the UK to restart operations. This intervention will keep cash flowing within critical supply chains and more importantly, it will help lower risk for our exporters and ensure that UK firms can continue to trade with other countries. Getting this scheme up and running is crucial as the UK economy gradually restarts, while keeping public health as the first priority.
The guarantee will be delivered through a temporary reinsurance agreement with insurers currently operating in the market.
in whole of 2018 £450 million was paid in TCI premiums to cover over £350 billion in business activity
The government will work with businesses and the industry on the full details of the scheme to ensure firms are supported and risk is appropriately shared between the government and insurers.
as of April 2020 there was over £171 billion business activity insured, covering transactions between around 13000 suppliers and 650,000 buyers
H E ALT H AN D WE L L BE IN G C a m br id ge s h i re C i t y Co unc i l
£2 BILLION PACKAGE TO CREATE NEW ERA FOR CYCLING AND WALKING Alternative ways to travel, such as walking and cycling, could relieve the pressure on public transport.
ar more people will be cycling and walking thanks to plans to boost greener, active transport, launched today (9 May 2020) by Transport Secretary Grant Shapps . Pop-up bike lanes with protected space for cycling, wider pavements, safer junctions, and cycle and bus-only corridors will be created in England within weeks as part of a £250 million emergency active travel fund - the first stage of a £2 billion investment, as part of the £5 billion in new funding announced for cycling and buses in February. Following unprecedented levels of walking and cycling across the UK during the pandemic, the plans will help encourage more people to choose alternatives to public transport when they need to travel, making healthier habits easier and helping make sure the road, bus and rail networks are ready to respond to future increases in demand.
The government will fund and work with local authorities across the country to help make it easier for people to use bikes to get around including Greater Manchester, which wants to create 150 miles of protected cycle track, and Transport for London, which plans a “bike Tube” network above Underground lines. Fast-tracked statutory guidance, published today and effective immediately, will tell councils to reallocate roadspace for significantly-increased numbers of cyclists and pedestrians. In towns and cities, some streets could become bike and bus-only while others remain available for motorists. More side streets could be closed to through traffic, to create low-traffic neighbourhoods and reduce ratrunning while maintaining access for vehicles. Vouchers will be issued for cycle repairs, to encourage people to get their old bikes out of the
HEALTH AN D WELLB EI NG
C ambr id geshire C i t y Co unc i l
shed, and plans are being developed for greater provision of bike fixing facilities. Many more will take up the Cycle to Work scheme, which gives employees a discount on a new bike. Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: During this crisis, millions of people have discovered cycling - whether for exercise or as a means of safe, socially-distanced transport. While there is no change to the ‘stay at home’ message today, when the country does get back to work we need those people to stay on their bikes and be joined by many more. Otherwise, with public transport’s capacity severely restricted at this time, our trains and buses could become overcrowded and our roads gridlocked – holding up emergency services, critical workers and vital supplies. We know cars will continue to remain vital for many, but as we look to the future we must build a better country with greener travel habits, cleaner air and healthier communities. An updated Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy will be launched by the Prime Minister in the summer, with further measures to transform cycling and walking to deliver the government’s aims to double cycling and increase walking by 2025 – including: the creation of a national cycling and walking commissioner and inspectorate higher standards for permanent infrastructure across England getting GPs to prescribe cycling and exercise creating a long-term budget for cycling and walking similar to what happens for roads The government will also be launching a campaign to encourage more people to look at alternative ways to travel, to walk or get on a bike for their commute instead of public transport. Today, riders from Team Ineos, including Chris Froome and Geraint Thomas, will be telling people to #GetPedalling. Sir Dave Brailsford, Team Principal of Team INEOS, said: If ever there was a good time to get on your bike, it’s now. You will be helping take pressure off public transport. You will be looking after your health. You will be looking after the health of others and you will be helping the environment. Let’s all get pedalling and help Britain on the road to recovery. E-scooter trials will also be brought forward from next year to next month to help encourage more people off public transport and onto greener alternatives. Originally set to take place in 4 Future Transport Zones, the trials of rental e-scooters – which will now be offered to all local areas across the country – will allow government to assess
the benefits of e-scooters as well as their impact on public space, with the potential to see rental vehicles on UK roads as early as June. Andy Street, the Mayor of the West Midlands said: The West Midlands is proud to be leading the way on future transport development, and I am pleased the government has put its faith in us again with this new and innovative trial of e-scooters. This trial will help bring more flexibility, choice, and greener travel solutions for the region, at a time when we are facing a climate emergency and urging people to leave the car at home. We will also use the trial to look at the current transport challenges the coronavirus pandemic has presented us with and explore how e-scooters could be used to help tackle them. No region is better equipped than the West Midlands to test, review, and implement trials such as these at pace and scale, and that is testament to the hard work and innovation of those working in our future transport sector. As the government aims to encourage people to choose greener forms of travel when the coronavirus restrictions are lifted, a further push is being made to encourage drivers to purchase an electric vehicle. An extra £10 million - double the current funding amount - is being committed to the on street residential chargepoint scheme which will allow local authorities to install up to 7,200 devices, making it more convenient to charge and own an electric vehicle. Further efforts to encourage drivers to make the switch include the upcoming launch of a consultation which hopes to make charging electric vehicles just as easy as filling up a traditional petrol or diesel car. It will explore measures such as requiring rapid charging points – which are fundamental for longer journeys - to offer contactless payment, improving transparency on pricing and giving drivers better access to information about the chargepoints available on their journey.
CAMBRIDGESHIRE CITY COUNCIL www.cambridge.gov.uk
largest ever boost for cyclists and pedestrians emergency bike lanes and streets will help support transport network trials of rental e-scooters to be brought forward to increase green transport options government working with leading tech developers to reduce crowding on public transport
The government is also working alongside the tech sector to see how technology could be used to help commuters stagger their journeys and advise on alternative modes of travel. Leading transport tech experts including Google, Zipabout and Trainline met this week at a roundtable chaired by the Transport Secretary, to explore how technology could help ease overcrowding and reduce the risk of a second spike in coronavirus cases. Potential solutions could include mobile phone apps warning when public transport is particularly busy or advising on a quieter time to travel, allowing people to flex their hours and prevent the transport network from being overburdened.
IN FRAST RUCTU R E A ND T RA N S PO RT C L E G G Cons t r uc t ion L i m i te d
STILL GROWING AFTER 80 YEARS Clegg Construction has been trading since the 1930s, over the last 80 years, Clegg from its operating bases in Cambridge, Nottingham and Leeds, has steadily grown with a group turnover of £100million per annum. This safe and ethical business is constantly evolving and working with different clients to grow organically. With activities in their core sectors of Commercial, Education and Residential 2019 has proven to be another successful year for the Construction arm of the business Recent completions include the new 420 place Lubbesthorpe Primary School.
And the new Students’ Union at Aston University building has been officially opened and is among the most modern and sustainable of its type in the country.
provide full-time residential, nursing and specialist dementia care for up to 64 older people including Frail and Younger People living with Dementia (YPD) and will create over 90 full-time jobs.
While in the West Midlands they are on site delivering 743 student bedrooms across 2 major developments at Upper Dean Street, Birmingham and Stoney Stanton Road, Coventry, both set for completion in 2020. These schemes add to the 513 bedrooms Clegg Construction delivered on time for students returning to Sheffield and Nottingham based universities this autumn.
RACHEL JOHNS Head of Business Development
Clegg is building a £9m bespoke 62-bed nursing home called Oakham Grange, in Rutland, which is set to open in early 2020 and will create up to 200 jobs. This is the first nursing home to be built by family owned Ardale Ltd and the three-level building on Wheatfield Way, Oakham, will feature ‘interesting design touches’ like a putting green. Clegg Construction is also on site, building a nursing home on Farley Way, in Quorn, Leicestershire for Care UK. When complete, the new care facilities will
The team based in the recently opened Cambridge Office are excited about the prospect of their first projects, which are now in the final stages of design and are set to start on site in Early 2020 For more details, please contact Rachel Johns, Head of Business Development, 07921 471572, Rachel. email@example.com
Clegg Construction Ltd, a subsidiary of Clegg Group Ltd, is based in Nottingham, covering the Midlands, Yorkshire and East Anglia. We are a solution-focussed main contractor with extensive multi-sector project experience in Design and Build, Traditional and Framework Contacts. Each project we undertake is completed with the highest level of professionalism and dedicated to customer care.
Please contact Rachel Johns, Head of Business Development 0792 1 471 572
Cambridge Park & Ride Taking you into the heart of Cambridge Open seven days a week
For more information on fares, timetables and other details, please visit www.cambridgeparkandride.info *Parking is free for up to 18 hours. Charges apply for longer stays.
Premium gin and vodka lovingly hand crafted in Suffolk
Find out more www.suffolkdistillery.co.uk Follow us: @thesuffolkgin