SBRC launch new webinars to help Scottish businesses through Covid
A popular series of webinars that provided valuable support to businesses during the Covid crisis has announced a number of new virtual events.
The Scottish Business Resilience Centre (SBRC) online sessions will offer businesses practical support that they can use in the current economic environment and beyond.
The topic being discussed on 21 October is 'Positioning yourself against competitors' with guest speakers Alistair Forbes investor and founder of Scottish Tech Army and Graeme Gordon, CEO of service provider IFB.
On October 29 'Debt Recovery: Both sides of the Coin' will be explored by Alistair Dean, solicitor-advocate and partner of Anderson Strathern, and Duncan Raggett, head of restructuring & recovery and insolvency specialist at AAB.
On November 5, the importance of innovating and pivoting a product or service during times of Covid will be explored while on December 3, SBRC will host an online session examining how to get the best out of a board of directors.
To find out more about Scottish Business Cares and sign up to webinars: https://www.sbrcentre.co.uk/
SBRC’s webinar series was launched in March this year when the future of many businesses in Scotland was put at risk as Covid-19 led to lockdown.
Virtually overnight, companies had to quickly put measures in place to protect their employees, give them the tools to work from home, if possible, and try to keep trading.
One organisation that quickly stepped into help was the Scottish Business Resilience Centre (SBRC), a non-profit body that helps companies across the country trade securely.
At the start of lockdown Jude McCorry was just about to take up her new role as chief executive officer of SBRC and was well aware her new organisation had to step up to the plate to help businesses.
As an advocate of collaboration she knew this challenge was not one that SBRC could meet alone.
Working with partners across the country, Scottish Business Cares (SBC) was created. It is described as a “goodwill collective” involving SBRC and the Scottish Government, and supported by in-kind partners Par Equity, Taranata Group, Droman Solutions and Clark Communications.
Its focus is to provide guidance, mentoring, navigation and support around the practical and legal issues facing businesses during Covid-19. Its guiding principle is to “ensure that no Scottish business fails because of lack of knowledge and support”.
McCorry says: “The week before I joined SBRC, Paul Atkinson, founding partner of Par Equity, called and asked what I was going to do as the new CEO to help business build resilience during Covid-19.
At the time nobody really knew anything about Covid; there were no guidelines.
“Lots of information started coming from various agencies, for example about what funding was available, and people were contacting their banks and solicitors wondering how their businesses were going to survive.
“We decided we would work with firms like Anderson Brown (AAB), Addleshaw Goddard, Shepherd and Wedderburn, Par Equity and Linc. From the investor community, people like Paul Atkinson have really supported companies during Covid. He gave up his time for free to help as he was worried about businesses in Scotland.”
Atkinson says: “When Covid hit and lockdown arrived, many businesses immediately faced an unprecedented crisis. I reached out to Jude and the SBRC team and within days ‘Scottish Business Cares’ was formed to deliver help and advice to any company in need.
To date, we have delivered guidance to over 5000 Scottish businesses, with pro bono support from many talented people and concerned business partners as well as much needed financial support from Scottish Government. My great thanks to all involved.”
SBC supports companies in various ways, including webinars led by industry experts.
The first webinar was held in March, just days into lockdown, on Zoom and was met with great demand.
McCorry explains: “We continued to follow the information flow coming from agencies and government. Every time there was an announcement, I would get in touch with one of our partners, such as AAB, and we would make sense of what was being said to communicate that to businesses. People came back to say things like we had put the flame out around any hysteria by translating information into bite sized, understandable chunks.”
SBC has received many testimonials of support on the back of its webinar series.
Len Hobbs, consultant to trade body BIFA: Scotland and Borders region, said: "Many thanks for your continued help and assistance with the webinars each week. Thoroughly enjoying them and sharing information with the Scottish contacts and sometimes my contacts across the border. Well done, and a big thank you to all concerned."
In the longer term, McCorry hopes that SBC will leave a positive legacy. “I've always banged the drum about collaboration and how Scottish people look after each other. I couldn't have delivered this without our advisory group. Scottish Business Cares is a testament to how we have all come together and this should not be forgotten.”
Find out more here.