It is a challenging time for us all right now but for small business owners, the pressure is immense.
From an individual perspective, we all have bills to pay, a family to feed and a roof to keep over our head. But while the unemployed are offered financial support from the Government to help to cover their bills and many employed staff are working from home with their usual salaries, where does this leave small Business owners?
Small Business owners and the self employed are fighting for survival. This means constantly adapting and trying to keep things afloat, maintaining a positive morale and keeping teams motivated through hard times. And most importantly, setting an example for all.
These issues resonate most poignantly at present with the construction industry, where the self employed and business owners are struggling massively. UK construction activity has declined at a rapid pace since March, as many builders have halted work and cut jobs as Coronavirus hit the economy. According to Duncan Brock, group director at the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply, “As measures to contain the coronavirus Covid-19 pandemic were put in place across the UK, construction sites closed and builders lost their jobs on a frightening scale as overall activity fell to an extent not seen since April 2009”.
Due to client contractual obligations however many construction firms and their suppliers have no choice but to continue their works, despite the increased difficulty in doing so. For others, it’s literally about putting bread on the table – if they don’t work, they have no income. This is leading many to appeal to the Government for consideration of small business owners in general, and for those in the construction industry who at the moment, simply don’t have the choice to stay at home. Last Friday,for instance, Richard Beresford, chief executive of the National Federation of Builders, which represents small-to-medium sized contractors, called for further government action to help the “industry survive and recover from the coronavirus”.
At BRS, the majority of our clientele are in the construction industry and we understand the dilemma many of them face as to whether or not to shut down their sites. Despite how unpredictable and delicate the situation is at the moment, we are here to support our clients by being as flexible and accommodating as we can. We are also supporting them with our services, whether this be with regular Site Welfare Deep cleaning and Antiviral sanitisation if they stay open, or by arranging a ‘Return to work’ Deep clean before they re-open, if and when things ever go back to normal!
Right now it is all about leading by example, showing resilience and not succumbing to the pressure. That way, we hope that together small businesses and the construction industry can continue to thrive.