At Plunkett we have received many queries from our members about coronavirus and the potential impact on their business.

With news and Government messages constantly evolving we would like to advise all businesses of some key resources available to businesses and information, which we suggest you familiarise yourself with.

Current NHS guidance: NHS Covid-19

Government stay at home advice (supersedes specified country advice): Stay at home

Fake news – use Full Fact to find out what is real and what is not: Full Fact coronavirus

Guidance on the best way to prevent spreading is to introduce a hand washing policy for staff / volunteers in your business.  You could put signs up in your business to explain longer service times due to staff / volunteers taking time away to wash their hands regularly.

Download: NHS handwashing guidance poster

Where it is difficult to do this providing hand sanitiser with at least 60% alcohol is the next best alternative.

Coughs and sneezes should be covered with tissues and tissues disposed of.  It may be useful to put up signs to raise awareness of this in your business and provide tissues where possible.

Download: NHS Catch it, Kill it, Bin it poster

What can we do to manage the risks to our business?

We suggest that you should consider your business continuity and contingency plans as best practice.  If you do not yet have a plan in place, many Local Authorities have simple templates for small businesses available online.  Please find attached a planning tool we have drafted with some key things to consider: we suggest you use this as an indicative baseline and seek independent advice if you feel you do not have internal capacity for managing continuity planning.

Use these further resources to help you with your contingency and business planning in response to the risks from Covid-19:

Government advice for employers and businesses: Guidance for businesses

CIPD – continuity planning and policy information for Covid-19: CIPD resources

Advice for you if you have an upcoming AGM / are signing off accounts: AGM and accounts

Many businesses have already contacted us about the impact the virus and volunteers being required to self-isolate or stay at home because they are over 70.  We suggest sharing communications with your community as early as possible to encourage new volunteers to join – flexible arrangements to support your business where needed may also encourage people to sign up.

How can we support our communities?

Ensuring you and the teams working in your community business have up-to-date information and guidance for your business in place is vital.

Many people using community businesses may feel at risk or isolated and being able to provide reassurance and accurate information will help your community.

If you haven’t already, linking up with local volunteer bodies could provide you with vital support at this time.

Alongside use of social media there are apps (such as: ) which you can use to engage with your local community and encourage others to support your community business and vulnerable people in your local area.

What are we doing at Plunkett?

At Plunkett, we have shared advice with our staff and advisors to ensure we are aware of and monitoring the interaction on our behalf of anyone returning from an affected area or showing symptoms of the virus.  We have robust IT systems which enable home working and will endeavour to continue to support Community Businesses through adaptations to communications and meeting processes wherever possible.

If you have any concerns about any meetings / events you have planned with Plunkett please talk to the office about these, but we do advise you may need to be a little patient as we work through an increased number of enquiries at the moment.

Please keep sharing

Finally, we encourage you to use the Plunkett social media to share your successes and solutions for keeping your community business going.  Using our Facebook pages to share and learn will be a vital way for community businesses to support each other during these changing times.

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