I want to start this letter by wishing everyone good health to each one of you, your employees, families and friends. As we all respond to the COVID-19 crisis, we need to first work to ensure the health of our loved ones. I hope you all are finding the time to create "new normal" routines during these times of social distancing and sheltering at home to allow you to remain strong.
Starting in March we all began to realise that the impacts of the coronavirus, COVID-19, would change our lives and businesses for a period of time, however none of us had an idea how extreme this change would be. I have found the collective supporting spirit of the PCA members to be one the more valuable assets our business has as we respond. I have been speaking and messaging many of you to gain updates and see what needs doing.
In times such as these, it is very important to quickly identify what channels of communication you need to use to guide your thoughts, conversations and decisions. I would urge all of you to follow PCA newsletters and PCA Facebook updates sent by us. These updates are coming to you more frequently so we can keep the most pertinent information and resources flowing in your direction. These resources include the most up-to-date information on financial relief packages and tools to guide us to safe operations in a COVID-19 world.
I have been liaising with British Marine, Federation of Small Businesses, local authorities and also some Enterprise groups. This has allowed me to gain some of the great information I have been circulating.
I want to share a few tips with you that I have seen from the marine industry over the last few weeks. I am working to add their information into our updates and circulations:
Remember the team that helped you get where you are. All of your colleagues are essential to your past success and they will be essential to your future success. Do what is in your ability to ensure their physical and economic health.
I also urge all members affected to write to their own MPs, a draft letter was in the last newsletter.
Create routines each day as you are isolated but maintain contact with your colleagues, friends and families.
Be flexible. Listen to your partners and colleagues.
Your terms and conditions of the past will not always work in our ever-changing world. For example, consider relaxing cancellation policies to meet the needs and requests of your clients. Happy clients are very likely to rebook if your have shown understanding and flexibility.
Activate your networks. Each of us have unique operating businesses, but our challenges are often shared. Reach out to your colleagues in our industry, even if they are your direct competition. We will all be stronger if we survive and can operate past the COVID-19 crisis.
Keep the most important things in front of you and in perspective. Find positive, healthy routines to distract you from the isolation issues.
Don’t forget to contact your marinas to ask for help with cost reductions on fees as they close down for this period. Many of these are seeing good government financial support during this period whilst many of us have slipped outside that financial help. British Marine are now talking to marina owners on the future costing on short, medium and longterm closures.
Update your website information with any changes, keep your clients and customers informed that you are ready to restart as soon as we are allowed. Maybe ask our webteam to update text or images on the PCA website covering your business.
Don’t forget to thank those around and supporting you often.
None of the above ideas will change the fear we all are experiencing as we as we work to adapt, but they will help keep us focused on our responses.
As our section of the marine industry struggles to adjust to the present conditions, we need to remember that it affects all of us.
PCA members need to be healthy both physically, mentally and financially. We need to continue to work together. I urge you to continue to reach out to colleagues if you need any help or advice, we are in this together.
Wishing you, your families and team health and safety as we work towards the day we can restart our operations
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