These are trying and uncertain times. Normally at this time of year, we would be enjoying the Spring sowing season, looking forward to longer evenings of daylight and planning for the Summer.
However, our local Fingal community and our Country are facing into uncertainty. All sectors of business have been seriously impacted but the hospitality and tourism sector has suffered a crippling blow. Other sectors have seen varying levels of impact across their business and the likelihood is that this current situation will be with us for a while to come.
This crisis is one of the major challenges of our generation and our personal priorities have switched to protecting human health. Our visibility into the future is cloudy, and a veil of uncertainty is obscuring our personal and business plans. Disruption is not something new. We normally deal with disruption by remaining calm and having the patience to know that there will be light at the end of the tunnel. We have to focus on finances, operations, employees and community.
We know that there is strength and unity in working together. This is the basis for a Chamber and the current crisis adds urgency and resolve to this unity. The Chamber leadership team are meeting regularly to determine how best to support you as members. At present we are focused on the following:
- Moving the Chamber operations and associated activities online, this includes training seminars, networking events and the majority of our company documentation services.
- Our CEO, Anthony Cooney is on the board of Chambers Ireland, the national network of Chambers of Commerce, and is working closely with them to represent the business community to Government and other state agencies, and to advocate on your behalf.
- We also connected with key stakeholders such as IBEC, the American Chamber of Commerce, Fingal County Council and local Councillors.
- We are regularly publishing relevant Government notices and updates for business on the Chamber website.
- Asking the Fingal business community for their feedback so that we better understand the emerging challenges affecting businesses. Over 100 Fingal Chamber members contributed to the ‘COVID-19 Business Impact Survey’. In order to explore the arising issues in more detail, a follow-on survey is being created and will be distributed in the coming days. We would once again greatly welcome your participation.
- As the Chamber cannot host physical training or events at present, we are collaborating with members, partners and stakeholders to design a series of relevant webinars for business leaders (on topics like crisis management and employment law), and for people working from home (on topics like productivity, and mental and physical health).
- The Chamber is liaising with Empower on supports for the newly unemployed, and the Local Enterprise Office on supports for local SMEs.
You will continue to see more online communications from the Chamber as we do our best to deliver important updates and advice to help in this crisis. We are also keen to engage with you to help our community, and would like to hear your ideas and suggestions on the following:
• Webinar presentations – could you contribute content on relevant key topics?
• Mentoring – could you advise and assist business leaders in this crisis?
• Liquidity – do you have ideas and options for businesses?
• Job vacancies – do you have open roles you wish to advertise?
• Positive news – do you have a testimonial that could help our community’s spirits?
• Future skills needs – is there a particular area where we can provide training options to the newly unemployed? Could you recommend cost-effective online training resources linked to these future skill needs?
• Any other relevant suggestions pertaining to supporting your staff and your business?
Please send your ideas and suggestions through to Anthony at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 01 890 0977.
Please stay safe, stay positive, and stay connected.