A new website to co-ordinate Humber businesses’ contributions to the region’s response to the coronavirus pandemic has been launched today.
The ‘Coronavirus Community Support’ hub has been created by the Humber Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) to help match the growing number of requests being made for businesses to help, and the offers of support coming in from the region’s businesses.
The website lists details of the support being requested by public sector and community organisations involved in the coronavirus response. Requests include a call for businesses prepared to donate surplus stocks of personal protective equipment (PPE) or hand sanitizer, as many have done already, and an invitation for those interested in converting existing production lines to manufacture the products to get in touch.
Bulk donations of non-perishable food and grocery supplies are also being sought, including for distribution to residents who are unable to leave their homes and are in need of support.
Storage providers, plastic bottle suppliers and companies with 3D printing capacity are amongst the other requests.
The LEP is working with the Humber Local Resilience Forum, which includes the region’s local authorities and emergency services, to match offers of help with those who need it most.
As well as the local response, the website also lists details of national funding competitions for businesses with innovations that could support the response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Meanwhile, with most traditional networking opportunities closed off, the LEP is working with business membership and support organisations across the Humber to build up a database of business volunteers who are willing to help local firms.
Business leaders who think they may be able to help by offering a little bit of their time for an informal conversation with another business are asked to register their interest on the website.
The initiative came from the Humber Economic Resilience Group, which is co-ordinating the economic response to the pandemic in the region.
Lord Haskins, Chair of the Humber LEP, said:
“As our region responds to the coronavirus pandemic, we are seeking to bring more businesses and other organisations together to support the local community and each other. We hope this initiative can help connect those most in need of support or supplies with those who are able to help.
“I have been impressed by the great number of businesses which have already stepped up to help. By introducing this website, we aim to make it as easy as possible for more to do the same.
“We are continuing to provide business support and advice through our Growth Hub to assist businesses in these difficult times.
“However, we know that many owners and managers of small and medium-sized businesses also want to be able to talk to other people in business. During difficult times, it can be invaluable to have a network of contacts who are going through similar things, have particular areas of expertise, or may have experienced some of the same challenges.”
“With traditional networking opportunities cut off, we are seeking to build up a database of people prepared to help so no business leader has to face these unprecedented times alone.”
Chris Blacksell, Chairman of the Humber LRF, said:
“This initiative from the Humber LEP is greatly welcomed. Supporting local business through this period of uncertainty is vital not only to the commercial sector, but will assist the Local Resilience Forum to help those communities most in need at the moment. The response from local business to any LRF requests so far has been invaluable and we hope that this new website will bring forward more organisations to support the collective regional aid efforts.”