In My View Keeping Connected Vicki Meddows-Smith CEO, Chichester Chamber of Commerce and Industry
Published 00:00 on 30 Apr 2020
The Chichester Chamber of Commerce specialises in bringing people together face to face, through networking, seminars, social events and showcasing the activities of our members. Like so many businesses we have had to have a complete rethink and find new ways of keeping everyone connected and supported through these difficult times.
The answer is twofold: through technology, fairly obviously, and optimising our digital presence, but also, most importantly through the members themselves. The value of a varied membership becomes self-evident as help with matters concerning personnel, finance, marketing and business planning come to the fore. Such difficult times also call for a focus on self help with physical wellbeing, nutrition, fitness and mental health, whilst members in the heritage sector come forward with ideas for leisure.
Of course, we need technology to bring all of this as about as we conduct online advice sessions, webinars and even networking meetings. The silver lining is proving to be that without the constraints of time, travel and cost we now have a much busier programme in April than originally planned.
The digital present of any business is more important now than at any time since the advent of the internet both for websites and social media. Websites are being used to provide hubs of information to guide the viewer through uncharted waters. At CCCI we endeavour to bring all these information hubs together and have created tools for members to communicate in a forum and to add news and special promotions.
Many have flocked to social media and there is a generosity of spirit that has emerged as local community groups have formed to help the vulnerable, and we are urged to support fragile independent businesses and charities. It is also a time of creativity as some businesses expand into imaginative products tangential to their core business.
However, for many this is an extremely difficult time and the economic and personal cost will be harsh. How will it all look when this is all over (#WTIAO)? Will we be a more caring society with more regard for others, for the environment, for independent businesses and the value of the high street? Will we maintain recently adopted practices?
Life will certainly be different #WTIAO.
Last updated 14:11 on 24 May 2020