Clearly this is not a time for business as usual as we’re all having to think and do things differently for a while including working from home, avoiding conventional business interactions, supporting our colleagues and concurrently keeping our businesses stable, flexible and adaptable to whatever the next challenge is that’s likely to emerge. 

It’s clear that we’ve all been making some really difficult decisions taking into account economic realities, a desire to do the right thing and also showing compassion and empathy to our staff who are equally facing unprecedented times and all this against a backdrop of uncertainty and ambiguity creating challenges for even the most experienced business leaders amongst us.

Business South is certainly adapting and endeavouring to do things in different ways during this crisis. Where possible, we will be moving events to video conferencing, particularly in relation to our business led action groups who can continue to share best practice and add to the valuable insights that we are gathering for Central Government during the crisis.

Regrettably due to postponement, none of us got to MIPIM Cannes 2020 but our Regeneration South Action Group and their partners are ready to promote the Central South UK brand from 16th -19th March 2021.

Picking up issues and lobbying on behalf of our Champions is in the Business South DNA. In the current crisis, we are in regular contact with all of our LEPs, helping them shape plans and raising awareness of any gaps where more needs to be done. Please do keep your news, views and ideas during the crisis rolling in for inclusion in our weekly communication meetings with senior members of the LEP teams. I firmly believe that it’s at times like these, that the capability and strength of Business South to work collaboratively and across boundaries is incredibly powerful and I will continue to identify issues and in turn work with partners to bring about positive change.

Over the coming weeks I’ll be sharing more news on how Business South is adapting to the crisis and I will be encouraging you to continue to support us through virtual formats. As we all quickly get used to the likes of Zoom and Teams platforms, we’re looking forward to creating some powerful opportunities to virtually engage, learn and share that I hope you’ll agree remain really important even in these difficult times.

May I take this opportunity to wish you, your families and colleagues good health and best wishes for the month ahead.

Leigh-Sara Timberlake
Group CEO – Business South