The Entrepreneurs’ Forum has praised the efforts of its members who have adapted their businesses to operate during the current business environment.
A number of Forum members have pivoted their operations to play their part in supporting key workers. Among them is Entrepreneurs’ Forum honorary member Dame Margaret Barbour, who through her business is manufacturing PPE disposable gowns for the RVI and other North East NHS Trusts.
Barbour has switched production at its South Shields facility from high-end wax jackets to PPE which has been distributed to NHS hospitals in the region.
Meanwhile, Stockton-on-Tees-based AlphaGraphics has launched a new ecommerce platform to provide social distancing collateral for every type of business.
The products, which include posters, floor signs and stickers, have been designed and developed to offer clear communications in the management of social distancing.
Other Forum members, particularly those in the manufacturing industry, have amped up production because of increased demand.
Peterlee-based printing and packaging specialist, Encore Group, has responded to additional requirements from the NHS supply chain by producing higher levels of packaging for the food and pharmaceutical sectors while MI Supplies have produced and shipped over 5,000 litres of hand sanitiser in one week, supplying the NHS, police, fire brigades and more.
Some members have also brought forward development of products in response to the changing business landscape.
This includes, for example, Middlesbrough-based tech specialists Animmersion who have recently launched their Virtual Interactive Events service, allowing essential business communications to continue.
With members hailing from all sectors and backgrounds, the Forum has encouraged its membership to submit advice and supportive content to its online Support Hub, which is providing an environment for members to discuss innovating, adapting and pivoting during this uncertain period.
Regularly updated with resources and content, the Support Hub also hosts online peer groups, bringing Forum members together to help one another, share key information and to provide a peer group in challenging times.
Jonathan Lamb, Chief Executive of the Entrepreneurs’ Forum, said: “Entrepreneurs by their very nature are adaptable and can quickly pivot to changes in the market and economy.
“This situation is proving that our members can step up in challenging circumstances.
“From supporting the country’s key workers to providing new and specialist services to businesses during this unique period, our members have proved the North East is home to many innovative and creative businesses.
“Working together and supporting one another during this period is the only way we can get through this situation stronger.”