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Get closer to the coronavirus business response of other British SMEs

Accessing the coronavirus business response of leaders like you is one of the best ways to help set your course. Use our interviews with CEOs, directors and owners throughout the country to see what real-world reactions centred on protecting employee welfare, proactive customer communication, utilisation of government support packages and other key themes have been.

Matt Carr, director, Carrs Pasties

When the government announced it would provide financial assistance to businesses which furloughed workers Matt Carr and his brothers took the decision to close down operations at their factory and and retail outlets, protecting the company's future and its 100 staff. Find out how Matt came to this decision and what he's focusing on now.

Joanna Swash, CEO, Moneypenny

Moneypenny has upwards of 1,000 people spread across sites in Wrexham, London, South Carolina and Atlanta, making good communication streams pretty important. At at time when the business has hundreds of people working remotely, CEO Joanna Swash has quickly found that complete honesty and transparency about the issues and challenges facing the business on a daily basis is crucial to continued staff engagement and satisfaction.

Chris Blade, CEO, Cumbria Crystal

Cumbria Crystal was already in turnaround mode when it was announced non-essential businesses should send staff home. Chris Blade's coronavirus business response has been dominated by reducing all business outgoings to protect cash levels and adopting an act first and ask for forgiveness later approach.

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Tom Mathew, director, Dunsters Farm

With much of Dunsters Farm's business falling away overnight when schools across the UK closed, Tom Mathew and his sister had to think on their toes. The duo's response was to accelerate plans for a B2C offering to sit alongside its longstanding B2B one, backed up by a new website set to launch after an intense two weeks of development.

Helen Tonks, MD, Hydraulics Online

While Hydraulics Online has not experienced as much of a downturn in trade as businesses in other sectors have, the firm does have to deal with customers and suppliers in many different locations around the world. Find out how Helen Tonks has gone about communicating with customers and suppliers, from China to Australia, to make sure the business can continue to operate.

Brian Crowther, MD, Flower & White

As an organisation operating in the food production industry, Flower & White is in the essential businesses and services space – but that doesn't mean it has all be plain sailing. MD Brian Crowther has had to ensure his staff are safe in the workplace and that the company's offering is future-proofed if the lockdown continues.

Richard Marshall, MD, Pall Mall Barbers

Pall Mall Barbers saw its revenue drop through the floor in a matter of weeks, and then the business had to shut its doors. Richard Marshall has since been in discussion with the landlords of his company's eight sites and the bank to make sure his business is able to go the distance amid a rising pile of fixed costs. He tells us what his approach has been in these conversations.

Danny McKeever, director of operations, Site Supply Company

Site Supply Company is a provider of hi-vis clothing and personal protection equipment, putting it right at the heart of a supply chain feeling the pressure of unprecedented demand. Director of operations Danny McKeever explains how the business has dealt with the sensitivity of pricing as the cost of purchasing goods from wholesalers had meant an unavoidable ratcheting up of prices for customers.

Chris Bishop, managing partner, Slater Heelis

At Slater Heelis the leadership team had long thought about how the law firm might improve sustainability and experiment with having a more mobile workforce. Find out from managing partner Chris Bishop how the coronavirus outbreak has forced the agenda and created a new way of working that might ultimately force a change of direction in decisions such as moving to a larger premises.

Karen Emanuel, CEO, Key Production Group

Coronavirus isn't the first crisis 30 year-old music packaging business Key Production Group has seen. As lockdown began, scenario planning was the first thing Karen Emanuel did.

Sam Feller, founder, Popcorn Shed

Popcorn Shed founder Sam Feller has had a number of tough decisions to make, including a pivot to focus all business efforts and resources on its online channels as large amounts of its wholesale channels cease ordering for the time being.

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